Fashion | Top 5 Favourite Outfits of 2016

Friday, 30 December 2016 | No comments


Hi!

I thought that I would put together a quick post of my top 5 outfits of 2016. As you can see there is definite theme...stripes! I rarely wore stripes before, widely known as a no no if you are fat but, I'm not a follower of rules so I went ahead and rocked my stripes! I think in 2017 I may try a bit more colour though! Maybe!
















 
Much Love
 
Natalie
 
x

Lifestyle | My blogging Journey

Wednesday, 28 December 2016 | No comments


Hi,

This is a post about my blogging journey, some of the good and bad bits and where I'm going now!

First post:

Back in December 2012 whilst on holiday from work I stumbled across Girl with Curves and spent hours obsessing over Tanesha's incredible style and outfits. On New Years Day 2013 I decided to write my first post! Exciting hey! I really had no idea about blogging and how it worked, I just knew that I wanted to start one. I never really had a set theme of what I want to blog about so it was literally everything and anything!

What I wish I had know back then:

I wish I had known about the power of social media. I've had my twitter account since 2011/12 but never really started using it properly until last year when I discovered things like buffer and Tweetdeck, oh how good scheduling tweets! If there was one piece of advice that I would give to a new blogger is to get your social media sorted as soon as you set up your blog! I was also really lazy when it came to Instagram, I'm pretty sure that if I had posted more regularly on this platform I would possibly have double the amount of followers I have now, maybe more!

Least favourite post(s):

I wish I had never started my TDT (trim down Thursday) posts. When I first started blogging my body confidence was still really low, there were parts of my body that I hated, there were times when I thought about giving up as I was embarrassed about my body. The TDT posts were a way of shaming myself into dieting, I don't recommend this, it never did and never will work. The more I got into Twitter and found people like Leah, the more my body confidence grew. I decided to stop the posts and made the decision that it was the last time I would ever go on a diet. The more I read about body positivity the less I wanted to diet, even though I've put on a little bit of weight my mind and body feel more healthy.

Favourite Post(s):

I can't really pin one post down as favourite. My favourite type of posts are style, I love the process of putting together an outfit, finding a place to shoot and then putting the post together. I've really enjoyed a lot of my posts from this year, I feel like my style has evolved and I've found a place that I feel comfortable in. I'll never be a blogger that stays on trend, I wear what I find comfortable and what suits me.

Why I started blogging:

In 2012 I became really ill, I won't got into too much detail here, its a super long story but as I spent 3 months at home in recovery I felt bit lost and frustrated with life, being stuck at home for such a long time was difficult and a lot of things had changed. After reading Girl with Curves I decided to start my own, I wanted something positive to focus on and take my mind of what had been a horrendous year. I'm always so happy that I started the blog, I've got to do so many exciting things, been to different places and met so many wonderful people.

Equipment now and then:

When I first started I used a Nikon Bridge camera, it was a good camera and could have given me amazing pictures if I had taken the time to learn how to use it properly! Some of my earlier posts are awful, let me be honest. I had no idea about lighting, adding props or Pic Monkey! There are some shots taken on my old iPhone which I now rarely do. In December 2014 Mr C and I decided to invest in a DSLR, the Nikon D3200 and it made such a difference. As Mr C takes all my outfit shots he spent time learning how to use the camera and now I'm so much happier with my pictures. I tend to always take them in natural light where possible but now with these winter nights coming I've invested in some lights to do some indoor shots.

What would I change:

My blog name?! I don't know, sometimes I think its too long, not cool enough, a bit weird?! But, its me, I love gardening, being outdoors and around nature, I also love clothes and shopping, that's part of the reason why I came up with the name, I think I made a joke with Mr C about needing a wheelbarrow to carry all my clothes and it just stuck!

Where am I going:

There was a point this year where I almost shut down my blog, I was going through a really bad period and did the worst thing I could possibly have done, compare myself to bigger and more popular bloggers. It only took a couple of days to get it into my head that my layout was rubbish, my Instagram was crap, my outfits were not on 'trend' and that everything was awful! I was putting far too much pressure on myself, aiming to blog three times a week and holding down an incredibly busy full time job. It all got too much and I had the longest break from my blog that I'd ever had. I felt uninspired, lost and tired. Then after 3 weeks I slowly began to get myself back together and reminded myself it was just a hobby, it didn't pay the bills. After 4 weeks I realised I missed blogging and I got the sudden urge to start writing down ideas, my mojo was back!

I'm just enjoying blogging at the moment , I don't put myself under any time constraints (unless its brand work with a deadline) and I literally just go with the flow. If I have lots of content and I'm happy to use it, I'll do it, if I don't have anything then I don't stress, I'll post a few more things on Instagram so no-one forgets my little face!

Last of all I want to say thank you to everyone that reads my blog, follows me on Instagram and Twitter. Even though I don't reply to every comment I'm super grateful for each one that I receive. I hope that you all stick around for as long as I keep blogging!

Much Love
Natalie
x

Lifestyle | Merry Christmas 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016 | No comments

Hi!

Are you all ready for Christmas? It's been quite the mad rush for us this year, a never ending stream of work to do round the house in preparation for our first time hosting dinner at our place, eeek! If anyone has any tips please let me know! I'm still on the hunt for the perfect placemats as I type this, why is dinner for one day so stressful!





I also want to say thank you to everyone that has read my posts, left comments and liked my Instagram posts. It really means a lot to me and, even though I'm terrible at replying, I do appreciate each and every one. I am having a little giveaway at the end of this post so keep reading if you want to enter!
 



This is the Christmas House. They do this every year to raise money for local charities so after you've donated you can take some pictures too!

 

 

 
 
On a final note, please remember that a lot of us will not be feeling the same about Christmas,  someone you might know may be having a difficult time, alone or have painful memories of past Christmas'. I will leave a link to helpline numbers below, thanks to Kellie from Big Fashionista, for you to use and pass onto someone you think might need them.
 

 
I will be having a short break from the blog but I will be back with one maybe two posts next week! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
 
 
 
Much Love
 
Natalie
 
x

Fashion | My First Christmas Jumper

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 | 1 comment

Hi!

So, after many years without one I finally purchased my very first Christmas jumper! I had been debating on whether to purchase one or no and, when I saw a lovely white and gold one on ASOS, I ended up procrastinating for far too long and my size sold out. Then, I saw the lovely Steph from Nerd About Town wearing the most glorious jumper and I knew I had to have it, I was finally going to get my Christmas jumper!
 
 


 
Joanie clothing is relatively new to me, I first saw Em from TerribleTumbles looking gorgeous as always in their adverts but it wasn't until I saw Steph in the jumper and this skirt that I decided to take the plunge and order! I wore this outfit yesterday for my work Christmas lunch but took the red lip off before going, there was a lot of food to be eaten and this was too glossy to stay on after some serious turkey eating!
 

 
I ordered the jumper in an XXL as I am always a little nervous about ordering from somewhere new, sizing can vary from brand to brand, so I opted to go for the largest size and I'm glad I did. Its fits me perfectly and I am usually a 20/22 on top. The quality was also another surprise, its a fine knit so it feels super soft, nothing worse than a scratchy jumper. The pattern on the front is made up of small sequins meaning it's a hand wash only item but well worth it!
 
 



 
 
 
Pressie Sequin Jumper - Joanie Clothing
Skirt - Dorothy Perkins (old)
Boots - New Look (old)
Tights - Primark
Coat - ASOS
Bag - Radley
 
 
Much Love
 
Natalie
x
 

Style | A Grey Day

Monday, 19 December 2016 | 1 comment


Hi!

A few weeks ago Mr C and I took a trip to Northampton to do some Christmas shopping. I had all good intentions of having my shopping done by the beginning of December, compared to last year which turned into a weekend before mad rush, however, I failed! Not only did we not get any presents but at the time of writing this post we still only have one gift! Is it me or does the fun of the festive period lose its sparkle as we get older! Ok, no more moaning before I turn into the Grinch!


Whilst we were there we had a look in New Look. Trying to find one of their stores with a decent Curves section is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So when I spotted a fairly decent selection of clothing in the corner I was pleasantly surprised. I came away with three bags of stuff, a miracle!




Two of the items have since become essentials in my wardrobe. First of all this coat, a real step outside my comfort zone. I always stay away from long coats as I'm very short but after some gentle persuasion from Mr C to give it a try I fell in love. It's not the ideal winter coat, it doesn't do up and there are splits up either side, however it looked so good on I couldn't resist it and it was only £20! I'm wearing a size 24 here, I find the sizing in New Look comes up small in the coats and jackets section so I would recommend sizing up from your usual size.

 
I also picked up this top, again, something a bit different, I don't usually go for high necks but as I had a chance to try this on in store and take time deciding on what I was going to wear it with I was happy to purchase it. Again I got this in a 24, it is very fitted so if you prefer a looser fit make sure you size up.


 
Coat - New Look
Top - New Look
Trousers - ASOS
Shoes - New Look (old)
Bag - Radley (old)
 

Is there still a Curves section in your local New Look store?
 
Much Love
 
Natalie
x

Style | Weekend Style

Friday, 16 December 2016 | 1 comment


Hi!

I wasn't planning on buying anything when it was Black Friday, but somehow I sucked into that black hole of late night shopping and ended up buying more clothes that I don't really need but just somehow can't resist!




I spotted this dress after Bethany of Arched Eyebrow tweeted about it. I've been looking for some casual dresses for the weekend as I've been reaching for the same outfit most weekends, so this seemed like a good addition to my wardrobe.




I've worn the dress once so far and I'm so pleased I purchased it. I got this in a size 22 and it fits perfectly on me, slightly loose which makes it so comfortable.  It does have a raw hem on the sleeve and bottom so it literally looks like I've taken the kitchen scissors to it but gives it a really casual look which I like. The only downside to it is that it creases quite easily, you can see on the arms where they go slightly scrunched under my jacket.

 
 
Hat - Primark (old)
Dress - ASOS
Leggings - Tu at Sainsburys
Boots - Dorothy Perkins (old)
Bag -Radley (old)
 
Did you purchase anything in the black Friday sales?
 
Much Love
 
Natalie
x


Beauty | My Little Box - December

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 | No comments


Hi!

It's that time again, My Little Box for December is here! I'm still deciding as to whether to cancel my subscription or not, each time I say I am they send out a really good box which once again leaves me feeling very indecisive as to what to do!

Once again I really like all of the contents of the box, this has been the same for the past 3 boxes which is great, I may just see what Januarys is like and then make a firm decision, honestly!




This bracelet actually fits this time!
 

 
 I don't like eating Gingerbread but I adore the smell!
 






 
 
Much Love
 
Natalie
 
x

Beauty | Clinique Event at intuMK

Monday, 12 December 2016 | No comments


Hi,
Clinique is a brand that is well known all over the world. In 1967 dermatologist Norman Orentreich came up with the idea that great skin can be created. 1968 saw the launch of the brand along with their iconic 3-Step Skin Care System, the first ever dermatologist created, allergy tested, 100% fragrance free beauty products ever marketed.

Last Monday I was invited to the Clinique event at intu Milton Keynes. I was really looking forward to attending, not only to meet some other lovely bloggers but to learn more about the brand that introduced my 19 year old self to good quality skincare and makeup. Making that jump from drugstore own brands to Clinique made me feel suddenly rather grown up!

After a brief but thorough introduction to the brand by the lovely Suzie and Cory, they explained more about the Sonic brush system. I had seen this quite a few times, in magazines and also on various vloggers YouTube channels. I still wasn't too convinced about it even after reading and seeing all these reviews. When Suzie asked if anyone would be happy to be a tester in the demonstration I was more than happy to oblige, hoping to squash any doubts I had about it!
First of all Cory applied some of the liquid facial soap to my cheeks and chin, once it had lathered up I was given the sonic brush with the dual bristle head. As soon as I put it on my face I was sold, it was so cooling and refreshing on my skin. I could feel the bristles working on removing the thick layer of Nars Concealer that I had on. If you wear this you will know that although it's amazing it really feels heavy after awhile. The green bristles are slightly thicker to really remove dirt in hard to reach areas and then the white ones are softer for a gentle deep clean. Afterwards Corey wiped toner over my skin, this is one test I usually do to see if a cleanser has done its job and I can honestly say that there was only a slight, like the tiniest bit, of makeup on the pads. I'm so impressed that after Christmas I will definitely be investing in one.

The brush is completely waterproof so you can pop it in the shower with you to use. You can also buy additional heads, even one for men and a massaging treatment (the silver one) brush! You can find more information about the Sonic Brushes here.
We also learnt how to find out what skin type we have and also did the skin sellotape test. I won't give anymore away on that, if you want to find out more head to your local Clinique counter to take the test!
After the demo of the Sonic Brush I had the chance to try some foundation. Many years ago I used to use the superbalanced make up. Corey applied the superbalanced silk foundation to my skin using the foundation buff brush. I was really surprised at how light it felt on my skin and, more so, how well it matched my tone - you really couldn't tell I was wearing foundation. I was also given a sample to take away and try. It's been awhile since I found a decent foundation so could this be the one?!

If you are looking for Christmas presents, Clinique in Debenhams have the Sonic Brush gift set which would be ideal for the beauty loving friend or family member! If you go to the Clinique counter in Debenhams at intu Milton Keynes, mention my blog for a free treat!
Last of all we were given these gorgeous goodie bags to take away!
I would like to finally say a huge thank you to intu Milton Keynes, Debenhams and Suzie and Cory at the Clinique counter for a fun and informative evening.
Much Love
Natalie
X