Review: Avon 3 in 1 camera lens

Review: Avon 3 in 1 camera lens

I don’t tend to buy many beauty products from Avon these days, partly because I’ve read that they’re not truly cruelty free (as I think they’re still selling beauty products in China where testing on animals is compulsory) and partly because I’ve never been a big fan of their make-up. But I always have a look through the catalogue, especially in the lead up to Christmas as I like some of their gift ideas and decorations.

I found this camera lens set from Avon during my most recent catalogue perusal. I decided to give it a try…it was basically an impulse buy because they were only a fiver and I thought they might assist me with my very basic photography “skills”! I currently take photos on my phone (an old Sony Xperia) – often with it balanced in an empty mug (so hardly a professional operation) so I thought it was worth giving them a try to see what they were like.

The set contains a wide, fish eye and macro lens that screw onto a clip that slides neatly over the phone’s built-in lens. 

It was very easy to use and the results were pretty impressive …Here are a few comparison shots:

I wish I was photographing a beautiful skyline rather than the junk in the corner of my bedroom but it still illustrates how much wider the shot can be with this lens. I was sat in the same place for both pictures.

The silly face is optional, obviously! But I absolutely think I can have some fun with the fish eye lens!

I didn’t even know what a macro lens was but it turned out to be my favourite one! I love the fact that I am able to photograph close-up details with my phone! It will be great for beauty or accessory posts! 

My only criticism is that the lens can sometimes cast a shadow when using the phone’s built-in flash, which I guess might be more of an issue with the phone design rather than the lens clip. I’m going to see if I can find a way to use both the lens clip and my clip on selfie light at the same time… I’ll let you know how I get on!

Now I need to find myself a phone tripod so I can free up my poor mug and enjoy a cuppa while I take blog photo! 

What’s your best bit of cheapy photography kit?!

Thanks for reading!

 

How to make a last minute kid’s vampire cape!

How to make a last minute kid’s vampire cape!

So, not my usual style of post, but this evening has been taken up with a temporary re-purpose of one of my dresses into a cape! it’s a dress I love so I didn’t want to do any permanent damage so thought I might as well share it in case it comes in handy for anyone else!

I used my Amy in Black by Monroe Knows (which are currently on sale for £24.99 – a mega £50 off the RRP!) which I don’t appear to have a photo of myself wearing… so you will have to make do with this picture of H wearing it in another cape style as part of her Darth Maul outfit last year:

So here goes…

Apart from the dress, you will also need a handful of safety pins and a piece of A3 card.

Turning the whole thing over and pinning from the back will look neater but is a bit more fiddly!

Again, pinning from inside the dress is neater but fiddly, so pin from the inside if it’s easier… And ta dah! You’re done!

Happy Halloween! 🎃 👻 

Plus-Fun! at Plus Size Essex

Plus-Fun! at Plus Size Essex

Incase you missed me banging on about it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – last week (Sunday 9th October) Essex hosted it’s first plus size fashion event ‘Plus Size Essex’ at Brentwood Holiday Inn and it was a blast!

As it was the first one it was on a smaller scale than some of the national plus size events but I liked the intimate atmosphere and the feeling of being a part of something exciting, shiny and new! There may have only been a handful of brands but they all offered something different and of an excellent quality for the plus sized lady so I wasn’t disappointed! Here’s a selection of what was on offer:

Apples and Pears were there, fronted by their owner Liz who is not only a lovely lady, she is also an advocate for body positivity and passionate about offering fashionable clothes to plus size women. Her pieces are easy to wear and often have a slightly vintage feel so they’re right up my street! For some bizarre reason I didn’t get any photos from their catwalk show but here are some snaps taken by Kat (one of the models) backstage: I particularly liked the polka dot dresses! And here’s another taken by Essexy Hair (who did the model’s hair on the day). 

Couldn’t Curve Less were also there with a beautiful hand-picked selection of pieces. They’re a fairly new brand so I hadn’t heard of them before Plus Size Essex but I was impressed by their on-stream collection and was particularly fond of their floral bomber jacket and black jump suit (pictured).

For me, the brand who stole the show were Gatsby Lady who offer 1920’s inspired hand finished sequin and beaded dresses in sizes 6-30! I’ve read a few blog posts about these dresses (including this one by Georgia at She Might Be) and had them on my wish list for wedding outfits but ended up choosing other things. Now that I’ve seen them up close I am totally buying one for my next fancy do! The model’s were having soooooooo much fun during their catwalk show too…!

They all looked absolutely stunning! 

I jumped at an opportunity to try a couple of their dresses myself – I didn’t want to take them off!

The gold one was a little big at a size 30, and the turquoise was a 26 and I think I might size up to a 28 to give the cape a bit more fabric to flow if I was going to buy it (it’s on my “must buy” list!). I’d probably decide to wear shapewear to smooth out my silhouette but I think they look absolutely stunning! Considering the attention to detail these dresses are very reasonably priced too. I’ve also got this one on my wish list…!

I’d been excited about meeting the ladies behind Chocolate Buddha who make beautiful active wear – primarily for yoga but I’d wear it to my exercise classes… when they make it in my size! They’re looking to extend their range of sizes (and unlike other brands I absolutely believe them!) so I’ll be keeping an eye out! I’m particularly interested in the vest tops (with a double layer so you don’t flash you bra in a head stand!) and either capri leggings or harem pants. The models let us have a little feel of the fabric too – they were so soft!

I truly enjoyed chatting to 2 of the ladies from Chocolate Buddha too – they have great motivations for creating their clothing and I hope it’s a success so I can buy some of it!

There was also a very informative bra fitting workshop by  Ms Pomelo (although, regretfully I didn’t make it to her stall to talk bras or find out more) and a selection of gorgeous bridal wear from Curves and Couture Bridal. I didn’t manage to catch their impromptu catwalk show but I did snap a couple of the models back stage.

Finally, there was a beautiful selection of accessories on offer from Jo’s Jewellery, including my only purchase of the day:

 
 I’ll be back to tell you more about my time at Plus Size Essex but for now, these were the pioneer brands and Plus Size Essex 1! Do you have a favourite?! 

 
  

Who I Met: Curve Fashion Festival 

Who I Met: Curve Fashion Festival 

Oh God, I’m absolutely useless at getting the things I plan to write about out of my head and typed up into any semblance of a blog post! Sorry! I promised to tell you more about my adventures in my last CFF post. So, as they say ‘better late than never’ – here’s a quick update on who I met at Curve Fashion Festival in Liverpool the other week and why meeting them was so important to me…

The Celebs 

I’ll be honest, there wasn’t really anyone on the celeb line up I was particularly desperate to meet. But I figured I might not get the opportunity to meet these plus size icons again so decided to say hello – and I’m so glad I did!

I met Sandra and Sandi from Gogglebox, who were great fun! So friendly and chatty. Loved their matching outfits!

They also walked the catwalk (I think for Want That Trend but I might be wrong!) and looked like they were enjoying themselves! I’m a huge Gogglebox fan but Sandi and Sandra haven’t ever been my favourite on it but they were so lovely in real life! 

Hayley Hasselhoff was there launching her new collection with Elvi, the clothes looked sleek and very high-end on the catwalk. I particularly liked the chunky knit jumper on the left:

I’m not so sure about the idea of wearing your PJs and dressing gown as regular clothes (right) but I guess if my night attire looked that glam, I might be tempted! 

Hayley had her very own photo booth where she snapped a few pics and chatted while the photo printed. She was an absolute delight! Complementing everyone, looking flawless and generally not seeming like she was sick of the day (the queue for photos was pretty massive at times!). She was happy to pose for selfies and signed the photobooths print – she gets 10/10 for effort! 

Finally, I also managed to grab a quick chat and photo with the plus size poster girl pioneer herself – Tess Holliday! I know the jury is out amongst the plus size community on Tess, but I figured I may never get another opportunity to meet her and much God, she is a stunner! 

Tess was polite and professional in her manner, she chatted a little but was probably tired by the time I bowled over requesting a photo! I actually asked Kat
 to ask her because I thought she was more likely to say yes to her! 😂 I was happy with my pic and she didn’t refuse so I’m happy! 

The Bloggers 

I’ve said before that I feel like a bit of a fraud calling myself a “blogger”, well coming face to face with real bloggers (the ones who have inspired me to love my body) was a bit intimidating but I needn’t have worried – they were all lovely! I didn’t manage to get photos with everyone I spoke to (and I didn’t manage to speak to everyone I wanted to either) but here’s a selection of the bloggers I’ve followed and chatted to for (in some cases many) years – finally meeting them in the flesh! This was where I got really excited – swoon!

Clockwise from the top there’s Lottie L’AmourFatty Boom TattyPlus Size and Proud,  Fuller Figure Fuller BustLolly Likes and Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess. I’m sad I didn’t get more photos of the others. Each of these ladies have given me something – either motivation, inspiration or practical tips on how to live comfortably in my skin. Spending a bit of time with them was the highlight of the day for me. It’s a huge boost being part of a community of plus size women, especially when they are as kind, encouraging and beautiful as this lot!

I was almost too nervous to go and speak to Georgina from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust but just before we were due to leave she was stood chatting to some bloggers I know so I decided it was my last opportunity… I didn’t introduce myself or anything because I didn’t expect her to know who I was and didn’t want to look like a crazed super-fan! So I kind of awkwardly asked for a photo. 

George was one of the first plus size bloggers I followed on Twitter and she has inspired me to change my style, wardrobe and attitude towards my body. So I’m so pleased I didn’t pass up the opportunity to meet her.

It was such a fantastic day! Connecting with fellow plus size women is good for the soul! Tickets for next year’s event are already on sale!


 

 

 

I’ve talked a bit before about my poor relationship with food and I imagine these posts will explore that relationship. I believe I am body positive and very much comfortable in my own skin, but I know that some of the obsessing I do around food is not contributing to a healthy mind. It’s part of my own self-love to take steps to rectify that. If that kind of discussion is likely to offend you or make you uncomfortable then these posts are not for you! Head back over to the fashion and make up pages and forget all about what you’ve seen here! 😊

Anyone still with me?! OK here goes…

Tonight I’m starting a 7 week course called “I Eat What I Need” which claims to offer “a different way to resolve eating issues”, to give participants the opportunity to explore their eating and body “challenges” and to find peace in yourself. Pretty big claims! But for someone who is looking to change their mind rather than their body, there was something about the course that made me think it was worth a try.

After years of “failed” diets and interventions (I’ve tried lots) I’ve learnt everything there is to know about a healthy balanced diet. I’ve also been super lucky to have the recent realisation that it’s OK to be happy in my body regardless of it’s shape or size – which made it easier to stop the faddy diets and get rid of the guilt associated with eating ‘bad’ foods – now I just call it all food. 

Despite this (literally life changing) realisation I’ve come to the conclusion that I still have an unhealthy relationship with food. I self-medicate, using food to help regulate my mood, as a reward or a punishment. It’s a way of thinking I have control when actually I’m completely out of control. In order to truly demonstrate self-love I believe need to address this little food demon in my head because regardless of the physical impact it might be having on my body, it’s absolutely having an impact on my emotional wellbeing.

If I can find a way to “eat what I need” this course will be worth it. If I can share my body positive message with others it will be worth it. It’s possible that I could lose weight as a by-product but it isn’t my primary reason for going. I’m doing it from a place of love rather than a place of self-loathing.

I am definitely sceptical. But I’m open to trying something new. Especially if it will make me a happier, healthier person.

I’ll be updating my progress and my experience of the course as it progresses. Wish me luck! 😄 

Hearts and Flowers at CFF 

Hearts and Flowers at CFF 

It’s been a whole week since Curve Fashion Festival and I haven’t blogged about it at all yet! I had loads planned – like, a “who I met” one, a “what was in my VIP goody bag” one and a “what I bought” one as well as some about the brands I particularly fell in love with. But I came home from CFF (it was a bloody nightmare of a journey!) and basically got poorly immediately! I spent my evenings after work sleeping and recuperating! I haven’t even looked through my goody bag properly yet!

So in order to restore my blogger mojo I thought I’d start by telling you about MY outfit for CFF! 

I chose one of my Silly Old Sea Dog dresses – this heart print, sleeved number was originally available for Valentines Day but I figure love isn’t seasonal so I’ve been wearing it all year! 

The dress itself was a statement piece so I hadn’t really intended to wear any jewellery but when I spotted the camera heart necklace on Pamper and Curves selling page on Instagram I thought it would go perfectly! 

(loads of people commented on the necklace on the day but as I bought it second hand I don’t know where it was from and can’t find it for sale anywhere I’m afraid!). I also added a pair of Babycham graffiti print trainers (I have various pairs of Babycham trainers – it’s an obsession!) so I could comfortably stomp around all day long!

…my new Paperchase satchel (which isn’t on their website…Sorry!).

…to finish it off I added a Rosadior hair flower accessory in my vintage inspired hair-do…

I was a bit nervous about going to a place filled to the brim with plus size style icons dresses in something less than subtle! But I felt that it was important to wear something that I loved and that I felt a million dollars in. Silly Old Sea Dog dresses never fail to give me that feeling. They’re so very “me” and kind of sum up my “vintage toddler” vibe.
My confidence was given a massive boost when I was approached by a reporter from The Liverpool Echo who was doing a feature on the festival’s “Best Dressed”. I feel like a bit of a fraud when compared to those stylish goddesses – but I’m still enjoying the compliment. 😊

Finally here’s a photo taken by the amazing Kitty Rambles A Lot – I really want to book a proper photo shoot now!

I had the most incredible day. I have so much more to tell you about the event and the impact it has had on me! Watch this space.

Did you go to CFF or have you seen pics of the event? Who were your style faves?!

 

A Day at the Races!

A Day at the Races!

Last Saturday was one of those magical days when everything seems to fall into place… It was my 35th birthday and I was lucky enough to spend it at Newmarket Races in their VIP bit (it was my husband’s work do) where we were treated to horse racing and a Little Mix performance! By some lucky coincidence my cousins were also there celebrating my cousin’s 30th birthday (her birthday is the day before mine) so I was able to gatecrash their party too – result! 

I’ve not been to the races before (except for doing agency work at Newmarket when I was a student) so wasn’t really sure what to wear… I wanted to look fancy without feeling overdressed so decided to go vintage as I feel less self conscious if I’m dressed up for some reason! I also wanted to save some money by shopping my wardrobe so I decided to go for my Pin Up Girl Penny dress in Harlequin print (mine is a different colour from a previous season – bought from my lovely blogger friend Tanya from Secret Plus Size Goddess). I teamed it with another blogger purchase – a domino Red or Dead clutch (from the fabulous Lolly Likes FATshion -and I’ve seen a couple on EBay) a Rosadior hair flower, and some sparkly silver sandals from Evans (previous season).

 

And here’s a few pictures from the day:

Our view from the VIP bit across the track

My gorgeous cousins 😍😍
Husband and I may have had a few Pimms
Got a bit nearer for Little Mix!

I had an awesome day – I’d definitely recommend the races for a special day out! The added bonus of a concert at the end was a real treat – even if we were a bit cut off from the gig atmosphere across the racetrack (which is why I went nearer!). You’ll need pretty deep pockets if you’re a big drinker though, as drinks were really expensive (£6 for a can of Pimms, almost £30 for a jug of Pimms! Single mini bottles of Moet we a stonking £20!). But we had a bit of beginners luck with the horses and managed to back a winner which helped with the drinks kitty! 

One of my favourite things about the day was dress watching – there were just so many gorgeous dresses to ooh and ahh over! I was also approached by a lady complimenting my dress!

Have you ever been to the races? What did you wear?!