Friday, 30 May 2014

Swimsuit mecca

Who would have thought it?! BHS?! I've not ventured into that particualr deparment store in YEARS, but in my desperation to find some swimming costumes for my holiday that are long enough for my body (which for some reason has been quite a challenge!) I decided to head down Oxford Street and try stuff on. Debenhams was a bust.... nothing above a 20 (which were all rather ungenerous from what I could tell) and all £40+. Evans didn't have the cossies I wanted to try, so I didn't have many options above a size 20. I wandered into BHS....
Oh well hello there wide selection of generously proportioned size 22 swimsuits! I tried on 8 cossies and there was only one that didn't fit me properly... these seem to be longer in the body than many of the other places I've tried size 22 & 24 from. They don't have all the swimsuits I tried online, but they had LOADS in store, and there were only a handful that had sold out in 22. I could have tried on 30 swimsuits if I hadn't been a bit picky, and I easily could have bought 5 of the 8 I tried on!
 This swim dress was cute, but I didn't think it suited me! Nice and generousness on the bust!
 This was cute, but I think if you're boobs are heavy and a bit floppy like mine, swimsuits that tie from the centre of the bust round the neck like this can be a bit uncomfortable! If you have boobs that don't need lifting up though, this is a lovely swimsuit!
I tried this style in a bird print. It is very cute on the bottom (the frills give me good hips and more curve, so excellent if you're top heavy or boxy) but this one was not quite long enough for me so the top line didn't sit quite right. Loved it though!

 Oh lordy I LOVED this one! I really wanted to buy it (and now I look at it again I wish I had because it's got such an unusual neckline!), but I was absolutely not allowed to buy 3 swimsuits when I already have 3 for my hols! This size 22 fit me very well (fyi I'm often a size 24 in cossies), and it would probably stretch to bigger... it's generous on the bust and is very flattering. Striking print too. If I had time I think I'd go back and get this and pretend I hadn't just spent nearly £80 on swimwear within 2 days!

 This swimsuit is their bargain basement one, which means that it has no tummy control or padding on the bust. That meant that I loved it! I'm fat, and 'tummy' control swimsuits cannot make me look thin, so I don't seek them out. Also, if I'm actually attempting to swim lengths I don't want my tummy sucked in; it makes it harder to breath! I really like how my body looks in this simple little number and I will certainly be able to wear it to the local swimming pool for real swimming, so I slapped my money down and it came home with me!
 Oh wowzers! I was worried this might be a bit of a granny swimsuit, but when I put it on I was like 'oh that is VINTAGE!'. I felt like Marilyn Monroe for a moment! This is a great cossie and if anything it was a bit too generous on the bust for me, so my big bosomed buddies, this may be for you! It is so perfectly long, but I already have 2 polka dot swimming costumes so....
.... step in the Hawaiian print version! Love at first wear! I had this in my hand and was sure I was going to buy it, but then THIS happened.....
 ... move over Marilyn, Ms Betty Page wants a look in! The strapless version just stole my heart! I felt instantly sexaaay when I tried this on. It's got such a beautiful retro glamour-girl feel about it. They had this strapless version in both this print and the teal polka dot too, and they are both delicious. Obviously I would suggest that anyone with larger breasts get the version with straps because it is definitely more generous (I had to size down to a 20 in that version), and I would also add that if my body fits nicely in the size 20 with straps, then the 22 will probably fit size 26 easily. The body is long and the cut is such that it will not allow you to spill out of it anywhere!
 P's, Primark have some excellent beach cover-ups at the moment!
Looks like my boyfriend approves of this cossie huh?!

BHS don't seem to have many big sizes left online, so my advice is to go into a store if you can and TRY IT ALL ON!

This is not a sponsored post, I'm just super excited that I have found somewhere to buy cool swimming costumes that fit my big body and long torso.... and on the high street where I can actually try them on!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Wardrobe weekly

 Oh Monday was glorious! The joy of wearing a summer dress and no coat! Shame it didn't last but hey, I enjoyed it while I could!
Earrings - Silvershake
Dress 22 - Asos Curve
Sandals - Primark
 I love this dress for many reasons, but the black crochet is obviously a lovely feature as it is so trendy at the moment. I recently bought one of the new Barry M Gelly hi shine lip crayon, I'm wearing no2 which is an intense orange-red colour and matches the background of this dress perfectly!
In the evening I buttoned up and let my hair down!

 I love this bomber jacket, and I love this dress too.... I'm glad it's warm enough to wear it again! Plastic shoes to deal with the random downpours in-between the sunshine!
Jacket 22 - Dorothy Perkins
Dress 22 - Crazy Clearance
Shoes - Primark

 Okay, so although it was warm in the morning, it got a bit cooler throughout the day and this dress was just not warm enough! My bad, should have kept it for a properly hot day!
 I love it though... really love it, and I felt very glamorous in it!
 Cardi 20 - Primark
Dress 24 - George
Flip flops - Ipanema
Sadly I had to admit defeat and throw my favourite Ipanemas in the bin. I've been wearing them for about 4 years so they've done rather well, but it's still a sad day!

 I do so love the shape of this dress....
 .... and the print of course! I was excited to finally have some blue shoes to match it!
Dress 24 - Clements Ribeiro Swan for Evans
Leggings 22 - South / Very
Shoes - Primark

 I was right about these boohoo jeans, they did loosen up a little bit an they are really comfy and good in the warm weather. I love them, I hope they make the same jeans in other colours!
T-shirt 22 - Asos
Jeans 24 - Boohoo
Lace daps - Dunlop

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Summer Squash

When I was a kid I was allergic to E numbers (artificial additives in food). It meant that there were a few things that most people take for granted I couldn't eat; bubble gum & sweats, cheap sausages, fizzy drinks & squash. My mother used to make her own squash from scratch and it really did become the taste of my childhood. It is now the taste of summer for me, and it makes me think of my mum every time I drink it. It's maybe more like a cordial and should be kept in the fridge, but it's really very easy to make and I just made a batch in time for summer, so I thought I'd share it with my lovely readers in case they fancy trying out this beautiful drink! P's, this is definitely a drink for those with a sweet-tooth!

Mummy Parsnip's Orange & Lemon Squash

2 large / 3 small lemons juice and rind
1 large / 2 small Oranges juice and rind
1 dessert spoon of citric acid
1lb / 8ozs of sugar
1 pint of water

 I'll just tell you exactly how I do this. I use one chopping board, a sharp knife and a manual citrus juicer. You also need a large bowl (glass or plastic) and a measuring jug. You'll need a sieve for later, and a clean container for the squash which will fit in your fridge!
 It is rather shocking when you realise just how much sugar you need to make squash, but just go with the flow and remember that you'll be diluting it with water when you actually drink it! So then, start off by adding 8oz of sugar into your mixing bowl.
 The Citric Acid (a natural preservative) is the only tricky part of this operation. You have to get it from a pharmacy and they will probably ask you what you want it for (I assume it can be used for dodgy things?!), just say orange squash and they will sell it to you without any hassle! Add a desert spoon of citric acid to the bowl with the sugar.
Finely grate the rind of your oranges and lemons, on top of the sugar and citric acid.
Use your measuring jug to pour 1 pint of boiling water over the sugar and stir. The sugar will start to dissolve quickly, stir it a few times and then leave it to one side to cool.
While the squash is cooling, juice the oranges and lemons into your jug. When the squash is cool and the sugar has completely dissolved, add the juice and stir through.
Rince out your jug, place your sieve on top and gently pour half of your squash through. 
Carefully pour the squash from your jug into the container you plan to keep in the fridge (this bottle in my case). Go back and do the same again, this time squeeze all the juice from the pulp and rind left in the seive with the back of a spoon into the squash then remove the sieve and mix the liquid before pouring it all into the bottle. Thats it! Done! Put it in the fridge and enjoy!
Add water to a small amount of squash (I like it super cold so I always have ice!) drink it and feel all summery! Like I said, this is very sweet, so if you like it a bit more tart just squeeze and drop a lemon wedge into the glass. This squash makes excellent ice lollys (just make sure you make the mixture stronger than when you drink it, as you need more flavour when water freezes!), great for kids if you don't want them eating loads of additives! It's also good with rum or vodka if you feel like you fancy a tipple. Make it in a jug and add fresh fruit and mint to it for a non-alcoholic cooler! I've made this squash in the past with lemons and limes too, which is very similar but a bit more tangy than this orange and lemon version.  It would probably work with grapefruit too.... one for me to try as my boyfriend likes more bitter drinks!.

I hope I've inspired you to try this out. When it gets super sunny I'll make some strawberry lemonade and will add that recipe too, which is even easier!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Keeping and not keeping

 First keeping:

Some new things have found their way into my wardrobe recently, because I went to Primark to get one thing and came out with 3 - quite a typical phenomenon if I'm honest, because there is SO much good stuff in there nowadays! I'm sorry to admit that my budgeting has somewhat gone out of the window this month, but I plan to make up for it by finally listing some of the clothing I want to sell. I think I will have to admit to myself that £100 a month is not realistic unless I build up to it slowly!
You've seen this on the blog already as I wore it out and about, but really, I love this dress. It's comfy and properly long, and it cost £10, which is a bargain!
The neckline and straps are adsutable and the fabric is a thin stretch jersey. I think this size 20 would easily fit a size 26.
Love love love this one. It makes me feel very summery!
Another Primark bargain!
It's hard not to love dresses like this, and I just couldn't walk out of there without splashing £12 on this! It also came in white (which was amazing!) but I thought it might be a bit see-through in the sun!
This one is also really long too, and the size 20 is a good fit for me (the bodice is elasticated). I really must get a strapless bra already!
This fabric is like a synthetic silk, so very flowing, thin and soft. Coming on holiday with me I think! Both of these maxi's are from the primark beach section.
I picked up this glittery pinky red glitter dress in primark on sale for £5, just so I could wear it under my crochet dress....
Ta da! mixing textures and colours all in one go!
This is the Vera Bradley Uniqlo vest I wore recently. These come in lots of different prints and they're super soft stretch jersey (nice and thin for summer). I've been wearing it round the house like a mini dress lots!
This is an XL and will fit up to a 24 easily. Check out the collection here!

Now not keeping:

All of these are from asos, all in size 24!
 I like this dress, it's super cool, but sadly not temperature-wise! It's just the wrong time of year for this and I'm not allowing myself to keep it if I wont wear it until winter!
 These 'super sexy' jeans are not sexy at all! Tight not-to-stretchy, no room for my bum and oddly long on the leg. Nope!
 Ridley skinny acid wash jeans... super tight, crunchy denim without enough stretch. Too ridged, I really didn't like the feel of these at all!
Ergh.... not keen at all on these boyfriend jeans. too short (even when rolled down) no room for a big bottom and poxy button fly. I could have done these up but I hated the fit so I just couldn't face it (it was very hard to undo them to try them on!). Too baggy on the knee for my liking. I want some loose jeans, but they need to be a nice shape. I need looseness on the bum and a low-rise waist, not just on the legs!
Now then. I tried these high waist ankle grazer jeans from asos curve and loved them, but after taking these pictures I realised that they were too big on the waist. I've been here before with high waisted jeans, and I've spent my whole day hoiking them up where the tightness on my legs pulled them down! These are a size 24, but they are generous on the waist in comparison to all the other jeans I've tried from Asos (most of which I can barely do up in a 24), more bum room is the reason I think!. So anyway, I returned them and asked for an exchange (in size 22) only to be sent an email saying I'd been refunded because they were out of stock.... errr.... not according to their website, which isn't even showing them as low stock! I finally sorted it out and just received the size 22, which are a perfect tight fit. Much better on my tummy! If you're in between sizes in jeans I'd go for the smaller size, otherwise it might be wise to order two sizes to see what works for you!
 Like I said... BUM ROOM! Oh the joy of having my whole bottom covered! As you can see my high-wasited jeans are never high up my back, but they are perfect on my big bottom!
 These are brilliant fabric. Much softer and stretchier than any of the other Asos curve jeans I've tried, and they feel like they would be very comfortable to wear. These are not exactly thick, but too thick for hot days I think.
They cover both of my bellies nicely and bite my ankles with the lovely freyed detailing. Oh and can we mention the subtle acid wash look and the lovely blue colour?! Very good jeans! I really like these and highly recommend them to anyone like me who really struggles to find skinny jeans that fit large thighs and bottoms but are still comfy!

I now have two lovely pairs of highwaisted skinny jeans - this dark slightly acid-wash version and the pale acid-wash ones I showed you yesterday from boohoo. Very chuffed right now!