Friday, 31 March 2017

The Best Sunday Dress (& #Passion4Fashion Linkup)

When i was a child we had Sunday best clothes. Today, for me, Sunday best should be a gorgeously pretty dress but one that isn't constrictive and is completely comfortable. I don't want o have to suck in the mum tum or feel all my lumps and bumps are showing. Sunday is for little effort, but on the occasion when i need to shift my ass out of my cosy pj's and joggers, then this pretty dress seems to be spot on.
I wore this M&S Embroidered Dress last Sunday for Mothers Day and it was sublimely comfy and made me feel super girly all day. The exquisite embroidery is perfect for the ever present trend for Spring/Summer, and even though its a 'smock' style dress, i.e no shape, it hangs extremely well by not adding pounds by fluting outwards (i find it happens a lot with these style dress, which in turn makes me look like i'm wearing a tent).
I really love that its navy too, by adding the black tights and black biker it hopefully keeps it from being too twee and girly.
I think i'll be wearing this dress a lot, and not just on Sundays, I can imagine it with bare legs, white sneakers and a denim jacket once the darn weather warms up (I'm sat here typing in 3 layers and a blanket over me).

As a side note, i do have other shoes i promise, I just absolutely love these red boots and i cant stop wearing the, I actually can't  get over how much i've worn them. They're in every other Instagram post lately and i'm totally ok with it. They're just so flippin' comfy, and the pop of red makes every outfit instantly more fun, and that is a-ok in my books.

Do you have an sublimely comfy dresses that still make you feel pretty?

Just after we got back from this, his super wobbly front tooth (you can probably see its literally dangling here,lol!)fell out and we have ourselves a cute little gummy boy

Outfit Details:


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

March Beauty Favourites

Ooo it's been a fun month on the beauty front. As much as i'm very settled in my day to day makeup and beauty regime, I'm always open to new products that are going to make this mug look better. For me when my makeup is good i feel like i can take on anything, and that my friends is a good feeling. Are you ready for this? There's quite a lot and i can talk the ears off a donkey when it comes to beauty products;)

So here are the products that are helping to make me feel fabulous lately*
 Ok first up are some amazing makeup pieces from a favourite brand of mine (and my step daughters too) W7 Makeup. You guys if you haven't tried anything from W7 you have to, in-fact go right now and try something. If you like products that are on trend, a bit funky that last well, have great colour pay off and carry a smaller price tag then a bunch of flowers then W7 is what you need.
The majority of my makeup bag is now infact W7. 
W7 are a fab British company that are Cruelty free and have many Vegan products in their ranges.
This month i have been besotted with the Strobe Time palette . This quad palette is a mere £7.99 and really brings a beautiful, subtle shimmer to the face. I've been using this constantly. I love to use it on my cheekbones above my blusher (more on blush in a moment) on my eyebrow arch and a touch on my cupids bow. Its a super pretty way to bring light to the face.

My next favourite product from them this month is the Matte Me Blush, i have the shades 'On The Edge' and 'Going Out' and they are both perfect. I don't like any shimmer in my blush(if i want shimmer i like to add it myself), so as soon as i saw that these were Matt i knew i'd love them.. And of course i do. The colour pay off is great, they are build-able, so subtle or as strong as you require.

Other worthy mentions are the Metal Pout metallic lips , my step daughter is OBSESSED with these, me i love the Tinted Kiss Lip Oils, which smell and taste sublime. The Absolute Lashes  is a lovely day wear mascara and finally the bronzer .. oh the bronzer. 
At £5.99 the Honolulu Bronzer is amazing, Matt (just how i like my everything it would seem), it is super similar to a very very famous, but far more expensive brand (ahem Hoola cough cough) and bronzes as well (if not better!) I'm so pleased to have this for Spring, it warms the complexion up perfectly without making me look like an oompa loompa. A little goes a long way, so use on a loose large brush and tap off the excess. This little box will last a long time i reckon.

Face of The Day
Elf foundation in Natural ( wrote about that here)
W7 Eyeliner, Mascara, blusher and Highlighter, finished with their Lip Oil

 Next up, after many many recommendations I've picked up the Pixi Glow Tonic. I have no glow, like literally the dullest skin ever. My pores are enlarged of late(ick..sorry, tmi?) too and i just hate that i don't have an even skin tone.
The reviews are amazing for this product, I've only just started using it, but i love the fresh taught feeling it gives to my skin. Shall keep you posted on long term skin results next month!
Have you ever used it? Would love to know your thoughts?

Another miracle product for me here. Bardou Booster Brow is INSANE. So we all know by now that i'm severely eyebrow challenged yes? Yes. So a product that stays on all day and in to the night is always what i'm after (If i could afford microblading i would, but y'know those damn kids need feeding constantly 😁). Bardo Booster brow is like a brow paint. You literally paint it on, i use a small detailing brush instead of the applicator wand as i feel i get a little more control, and then i paint it on and create the shape i want. I love the fullness it brings, the colour it is and the longevity. Highly recommend if you too like full brows but aren't blessed in the brow department. Well worth the money as a little goes a long way and i reckon it will last a while as the amount is generous in the bottle.

Lastly some final favourites Organic Shop Shampoo and deep conditioner. I've noticed my local Tesco is stocking 3 new organic Vegan and cruelty free shampoo ranges. This is the first one i've tried as its really purse friendly (£2.50each). Great to see new cruelty free and vegan brands coming in to the mainstream, making it much easy to shop.
Trusty old Batiste, but new with conditioner added, I'm all up for added condition as my hairs a little dry right now from all the dying, which is why I've also been using Lee Stafford Argan Oil , which i also found out is Vegan and Cruelty free, which makes me super happy.

And lastly Forever Living Aloe eye cream. Super soothing as i've had really sore eyes lately. I put this on a couple of times a day as its cooling and feels beautiful on  my bags ;)

What beauty products have you been loving this past month? 
Any great recommendations to share?

* Its good to note that feeling fabulous without products is also highly recommended.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Trying Something New: Turning my Garden in to a Vegetable Patch

If you come here for the fashion and style and the pretties of beauty and makeup you may want to look away for this post ;) Normal programming will resume I promise, but sometimes, just sometimes i get an itch that needs scratching. And this particular itch has been itchy for a long time.
I have wanted an allotment for years. I actually had one for a very short time about 4 years ago when i first moved to the town i now live in, but with work commitments and a 2 and a half year old at the time, i just couldn't get in to it as much as i wanted. Plus it was massively neglected and needed SO much prep work before i could even consider planting and using it for what was intended.
Fast forward 3 and a half years and i still want to grow my own vegetables. There's no greater pleasure (for someone who loves to cook) than cooking with veg you've grown yourself.
Fresh, organic and and super healthy, it doesn't get any better. And as a vegan (myself and the husband, and 2 out of the 3 of our kids are vegetarian too) we eat A LOT of veg, as you can imagine.

Two years ago my ever green thumbed dad and my super keen sister took on 2 allotment plots in their town, but I live 40 minutes away so don't get to join in the growing fun as much as i would like.

After a few discussions with the husband we realised we may as well turn our small garden with its naff tufty grass in to a vegetable plot. The kids all play out the front of our house as we live in a quiet cul-de-sac and they prefer the room to ride bikes, scoot and play football. The back garden had become a redundant space and whats worse, a dumping ground for all our crap.

So what does a self respecting girl do when she wants to grow veggies on her doorstep?
She ropes her green thumbed dad in of course. Well actually i got mum, dad and my sister all down to help.
Under my dads watchful eye we set off to our local Travis Perkins and bought all the supplies i needed.
We've bought supplies for a couple of raised beds, canes, borders and all the gardening paraphernalia a girl could need.
Move over new shoes, Rachel needs a trowel, LOL!
Within 2 days Dad had gotten rid of our nasty tufty grass and found we had really good soil beneath.
It was on to the fun bit.. Planting!
With two seasons under their belts I had my families guidance of what to plant and when. Its still early doors on the planting front but I'm already super excited about planting more. There is something absolutely satisfying about watching something you've planted grow in to something you can use.
I've definitely got the Grow Your Own bug!
So far we have broad beans planted, then we've started in my conservatory courgettes and cucumbers, then in a dark area some seeding potatoes.
I'll be completely honest and say I haven't got a clue, but i'm excited to be learning on the job and i really love doing something completely different, not only am i thinking about new things, but it gets me outdoors in the fresh air, which i absolutely love.
Its so fulfilling!
The plan is for spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower and lettuces this season.
Neo's requested carrots too.
The plot is small, but perfect for starting me off on this journey. Plus there are things to grow in pots and on the patio.
I can't wait to give you an update soon!

not a scrap of makeup and in my skivvies, but couldn't be happier

Have you thought about trying anything new? 

For me Spring is when i feel most inspired, January is still too dark, cold and wet, where as Spring i feel full of energy and buzzing with new ideas.
Let me know if you're turning your hand to anything new! I'd love to hear all about it.


Friday, 24 March 2017

Trend Trial: Layering Dresses Over Jeans ( & #Passion4Fashion LinUp!!)

Dresses over jeans is one of those good old styles that's veered its ever so practical head once again. I remember rocking dresses over jeans in the 90's and early 00's, and lately I've spotted some cool people/ street style posts in articles and on pintrest.
I think what killed the trend for me was when leggings came in to affect.. and feel free to shoot me a scornful look, but i have a complete aversion to leggings and dresses, leggings in general really (exception is exercise or lounge wear only), I just don't like them (sorry). I rocked the leggings under dresses thing and just look back with regrets, to be fair it was fairly ubiquitous here in the UK at the time. But i swore i would not do it again ( I hope my sister isn't reading, she still wears leggings with dresses). Jeans or trousers however does create a rather interesting silhouette. Its fun its flirty and yet totally practical too.
I'd been dying to wear this dress a bit more as i hadn't worn it since December (which annoys me, you know me, I like to get lots of wear out of everything in my wardrobe!), so inspired by the returning trend i layered the star print dress with my favourite topshop jeans and trusty biker jacket.
It felt great!
I felt pretty in a dress, like party pretty up top, and then practical and functional on the bottom, enabling me to clean and tidy and play on the floor with out feeling 'precious' in a dress.
This particular dress is so lovely with its wave drop hem, i found myself swishing through the day.
So i think its fair to say this is a trend i will definitely be wearing again!

What are your thoughts on layering Dresses over Jeans?
I would highly recommend giving it a go.

Outfit Details

Star Print Dress Options:


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Discrepancy in Clothing Sizes on The British High Street and How it Shouldn't Effect YOU!

Last week I filmed a segment for a BBC Wales programme X-Ray. Its regarding a prominent thought that seems to be in the forefront of women's minds, on TV and social media of late.
The programme is here: (We're the last segment)

The programme shows an experiment where we shop in 6 well known High street stores for the same style pair of jeans (mid rise skinny fit) in the same size from each store.
I brought my sister along for the experiment, so we shopped for a UK size 10 for me and a UK size 12 for my lovely sister to see what the outcome would be for each retailers size.
We then tried each pair of jeans on and saw first hand what a difference in inches there actually is. It was remarkable how each pair were labelled with a Size 10 or 12 and yet they measured and fit completely differently.

The question was posed: Should UK high street retailers standardise their sizes for continuity of shopping?

Before taking part in this experiment (and making my TV debut, ha!) I read an article about a women who broke down in tears in the changing rooms due to the disheartening size system, and how it knocked her self-esteem to have to size up multiple times to get the jeans to even do up.
And this isn't the first time I've heard this, it is fairly common to hear women exclaim that they hate shopping (Jean shopping in-particular), that it can be an upsetting experience where the size they thought they were just don't fit, causing stressful situations in the changing rooms and generally making you feel a bit rubbish about yourself.

My sister admitted throwing pieces down in temper and leaving the shop immediately, finding that her mood had taken a very swift down turn in reflection of the unfair sizing of items.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever taken the item in your size in to the changing room to find it doesn't even come close to fitting even though your shape hasn't changed since the last time you bought jeans?

After seeing the difference in inches between each brand it was clear that the High Street doesn't and probably won't be standardising on sizes anytime soon, however as women we should not let this effect us.
That number on your item of clothing does not reflect who YOU are as a person. It doesn't even reflect your true size as these numerical figures that the shops have generated aren't an accurate account of our sizing in the slightest. These UK 8, 10,12,14, 16 etc are just reference to an article of clothing that this shop has given to its pieces. 

This number doesn't represent how wonderful you are, how your body is doing miraculous things each and every day to keep you standing, moving and breathing, this number doesn't mean you are a good or bad person, this number doesn't even mean that you are fat or thin or anything inbetween.
It is just a number.

I was talking to my step daughter about this and how women feel pressured to fit in to certain 'Number Size'. I explained to her that this fictious number is a loose reference at most. It is a way for the shop to reference stock. It is not a representation of any given person.
I don't want her to grow up fearing sizes. I don't want her or any women to try to prise themselves in to certain 'number size' because society dictates which size is cool and which isn't.

It is so important that we look past the numbers and look at who we are and what we feel comfortable in.

For example, if we removed all the sizing tags and referencing from 6 pairs of jeans we would choose the ones that fit the best and feel the most comfortable.
The  dreaded 'Number Size' would be irrelevant.
We would just be happy in the fact that we got ourselves a lovely new pair of jeans and they fitted just as we want them to.
That's how shopping should be!
Yes sometimes you have to try on multiple items before you get the winning pair, which i know is an inconvenience, but surely its better to try before you buy and look for a winning pair that fit like a dream rather than getting upset over a retailers reference.

So after our shopping experiment there is some sound advice to partake for ladies looking to go shopping without feeling the shopping blues:

  • Be open minded. Get those certain numbers out your head straight away.
  • Take a number of different sizes in to the changing rooms with you, don't be afraid to try on a size bigger than you think or smaller. The stores products really do vary in inches, it is not a representation of you, it is about finding your best fit.
  • Try new shops. We are all prone to falling in to the same old haunts when it comes to shopping, but branching out and trying new shops may open your mind to new clothing pieces. Plus each store cuts their products slightly differently. For me I love Topshop jeans and highly recommend them (this is because they work on waist inch basis rather than their UK sizing of 10,12 etc), my sister would never have stepped foot in Topshop previously, deeming it to young, but lo and behold the jeans were her absolute favourite out of all 6 that we tried on. It all goes back to being open minded.
  • Make shopping a fun experience. Get your mate, sister, mum (or me!) to go with you. Someone you trust and who is fair and honest. There's no need to shop alone if it depresses you, bring someone along who can help keep the mood light and offer practical advice.
  • If you're ordering online, try a company that offers free returns (most do these days) and order a few sizes if you can. This way you can gauge in the comfort of your own home what fits you best.
Remember you want to look your best, we all do, and that has nothing to do with the retailers number system. I have sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12 in my wardrobe and i wear all of them because they fit me, i no longer care what the tag says and just go by how they look, fit and feel.

Ditch the labelling ladies! You will be a damn site happier for it i promise you.


Monday, 20 March 2017

March Love List

March has been one rainy day after the other (or so it seems!) I'm hoping we've had our allotted amount of April showers early maybe? Lets hope as this constant rain is DEpressing! Ok so enough of weather chit chat, you don't come here to talk weather forecasts now do you ;)

March has flown by at a crazy rate( i'm aware i say that every month, seriously am i going to be like 90 in the blink of an eye??!) and the weeks have kind of blurred, but a few things have stood out and those are these things:

1. Fashion

Some of the mid season sales are in action and I have bagged myself a couple of goodies, in particular this maxi dress from Warehouse  and some panel leg raw hem jeans from Next, both absolute bargains. I've already worn the dress and can not wait to wear it again but with my red boots- another sale favourite, and i'm currently awaiting the arrival of the jeans, but shall keep you posted.

2. Eats

Zizzi's Gluten free vegan pasta is uh-mazing! So is their strawberry sorbet which is the tastiest sorbet i've ever tried.

3. Face

So i ran out of my Elf foundation and for a while reverted back to my Chanel old foundation to tide me over whilst i ordered and awaited delivery of the Elf product. What i realised however was how much i actually prefer the Elf foundation (which is cruelty free and vegan) and what a better foundation it is for me and my skin. When i apply the Elf product it lasts the majority of the day, is build-able and gives a great coverage and most importantly doe not go greasy/oily.
As a contrast the Chanel makes me look oily after about 3 hours and by lunch time i would say there is not a great deal left coverage wise. I also find it clings to dry patches and can be quite 'clumpy' in areas when applying.
The ELF Studio finish flawless foundation is a fraction of the price and is by far (for me) a superior product. I'm currently wearing the shade 'Natural' but progress on to Sand come summer, both are perfect matches for my skin through out the year and is an absolute delight for the skin.

4. Media

So i haven't been reading much, which makes me a bit sad, so I'm making a conscious effort once again to pick up a book. I read The Stylist which was a great fun light hearted read and now i'm wizzing through a short stories book by Victoria Hislop.
TV wise i absolutely LOVED and watched in 2 sittings Catastrophe on Amazon Prime. Hilarious, slightly wrong humour which is just my thing. Even the husband loved it. Written and starring  by Rob Delaney and Sharon Hogan it tells the story of an unlikely couple who suddenly find themselves together. Comedy gold.

5. Life

Bit of a different day in my life last week. My sister and I filmed for BBC wales a segment for the TV programme X-ray. Its being aired tonight at 7.30pm so if you can get BBC One Wales in your area and fancy seeing me on your TV then please go have a watch. The subject is about clothing sizes on the British High Street, which i will be following up with a post too, but i think its something we as ladies can all relate to.
So yes, that day Rhiannon and I saw how a TV segment is broken down and filmed and often then repeated and filmed again from different angles. I was so impressed by the sheer amount of work and tenacity from the staff filming, it made me realise how hard they work to piece an episode together.
Great fun and a very different type of day for me.

So my lovelies, what have you been up to in the month of March? What have you read, bought loved?
Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear what you've been up to!
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