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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ho - Ho - Homemade Christmas Gifts

I love Christmas time. I really love everything about it. I adore Christmas carols, decorating my home, and I am a Christmas tree perfectionist, with each item placed on very carefully.

Most of all I love giving people gifts. I know many people see Christmas as being very commercial. However, I really feel that it is one time a year that I can think of a gift for people I love, look for it, buy it and wrap it with care.

I also LOVE to bake for people. I really love to cook, particularly sweets. I also do a bit of cake decorating as a hobby, so I really enjoy to put together a few treats for family and friends at Christmas.

With the introduction of Pinterest into my life my ideas for what to make have doubled. If you love to cook, decorate or craft and you do not have a pinterest account yet then GET ONTO IT!

So here are a few ideas of what I am thinking of making this year.

1. Gingerbread house

I have made a few of these in the past, not always with a lot of success. This year I have decided to make small gingerbread houses as a gift for some of the people I work with. I am not going to make them really large, so hopefully I will have more success this year.

2. Cookie jars

I have been saving Moccona coffee jars all year in preparation for Christmas. I am saving them so that I can fill them with yummy biccies and give them as gifts.

I wash the jars in the dishwasher to get the labels of and get rid of the coffee smell. Sometimes they also need a bit of bicarb left int hem for a day or so, then another wash. Once cleaned and label free they are lovely jars that are ready to be filled.

I have a particular biscuit recipe that I like to use from an old Donna Hay magazine. It makes a sweet, shortbread type biscuit. It also is one that you can turn into so many different flavours. I often use the same recipe to make chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, and cranberry and pistachio cookies.

Also, it freezes really well so you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it then just bake when needed.

3. Sugar Cookies

Because I love to decorate cakes, decorating sugar cookies is a natural extention of that. I like to use fondant to decorate rather than royal icing. This year I am going to experiment with making my own marshmallow fondant, and am thinking of trying to flavour some of it.

My cookies from last year.

I use this recipe often for sugar cookies. They make great tasting cookies, but are still firm enough to decorate.

If I make everything as planned I will come back and share my photos!

Do you plan on making any gifts this year? If so, share your ideas with me. I'd love to hear your plans.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Aussie Curves - Orange

I have had quite the unintended hiatus from blogging, and Aussie Curves! It wasn't intentional, life simply got in the way. I am a teacher, so the last few weeks has been report writing frenzy. I also unexpectedly picked up my first senior class  (Exciting bu challenging). Throw a virus that caused me to cough so violently I burst the vessels in my eyes and pulled the muscles in my neck into the mix, and it made for a very busy, very stressed lady!

I have been giving this blog some thought, and have been looking at my favourite blogs and I am thinking I want to add a few more posts on other topics in here. So stay tuned as you may find a few different posts popping up over the next few weeks.

Now, onto my putfit post. Orange is not a colour I usually gravitate to so I was really unsure if I would find anything in my wardrobe that suited this theme. I was out shopping with my Husband when I spied Millers had a sale on dresses. I talked int his post here about how Millers seem t have had a recent change in the style of clothing offered. I decided to have a look as I am on the hunt for more maxi dresses.

There were a heap of beautiful coloured dresses in some wonderful pattern, but one really stood out.

Dress - Millers
Shoes - Kmart
Cardigan - Temt
Necklace - Diva
Bracelet - Really old! haha

I am just in love with this dress. The pattern is just beautiful, as are the colours. The material is a soft stretch jersey type so it just feels beautiful on.

It was only when I put it on to attend a baby shower that I realised it had Orange in it! Hooray!

The dress has a handkerchief hem, where it dips longer on the sides. It was a bit too long so I tied up the sides into a little knot so they didn't drag as much on the floor.

I love the gold beads on the straps as well. It just adds something extra to the dress. The cut is wonderful, as it is Vneck for the front, perfect for my small bust. It also juuuussstttt skims over my belly and hips. I did put on a pair of very light pull ins. I purchased the Rikki Lee brand from Big W. They went up to just below my bust, and actually included straps so you can hold them up if needed. I didn't use the straps, but I must say the underwear was SOOOO comfy! Although it doesn't really pull you in, it is more so that you have a smoother line underneath.

Pear Tip: Look for V necks for small busts. it helps widen your shoulders visually, which evens out your hips.

I really urge you to take another look at Millers if you haven;t recently. There are some real gems in the current collection. Check out some of my picks here.

While your checking things out, make sure you check out the other Aussie Curves posts from these ladies.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Aussie Curves - Pastel

I really didn't think that I would manage to get my post up for Aussie Curves this week. Work has been really busy as it is report writing and exam marking crazy season for me. Added to that I caught a cold, and also had a cranky daughter to tend to, who had developed conjunctivitis, an ear infection and the sniffles!

I don;t have many pastel colours in my wardrobe, simply because they don;t seem to suit my skin tone. Most pastels make me look washed out and frumpy. However, there is always the exception to the rule!

I really wanted to share this dress with you. Sadly it is a past season dress, but I just adore it. I bought about 3 years ago, and it has been a summer staple ever since.

Dress - Target (Hot options)
Cardigan - Temt
Belt - Equip
Neecklace - Gift
Bangles - Diva

There is so much to love about the dress. The beautiful colours, the silky, flowy satin, the lovely v neck bodice. The dress is really lightweight and it perfect to wear on a hot summer day. I love to dress down the dress with sandals and a plain necklace  or dress it up with heels and a sparkly necklace. I have worn this dress to a wedding when  I was 6 months pregnant. 

Pear Tip: Wear a dress that is fitted at the bodice but flows out from either below the bust or the waist. This draws attention to your narrowest point. Add a belt to further accentuate your narrowest point.

I am really into belts lately too. I have made quite a few purchases recently of skinny belts. The one I am wearing is rose gold (my favourite metallic colour) and came as part of a 3 pack along with a mint green and a floral. I learnt a nifty trick to loop a belt so you don't have a lot of excess belt sticking out. 

Nerida is also wearing a dress for this week's theme

Dress - Big W (current)
Cardigan - SES
Shoes- Rivers
Bracelet - Tiffany & Co

It is very unusual for Nerida to wear floral print, as she generally prefers to wear bold prints or block colours. She spied this dress in Big W and tried it on. It fits perfectly and is really feminine. This is another dress that can be dressed down for something casual, bu can also be dressed up for a special occasion. 

The draping at the belly also is really flattering for her shape. The navy background on the dress makes the pastel floral print stand out, and also prevents Nerida from looking washed out. 

Apple Tip: Look for a dress that has a slight gather over the stomach, it prevents the dress from looking like it is clinging to your belly.

We both really love these dresses and are glad we have managed to squeeze this post in before the blog hop ends!

Tell us, do you have a favourite summer frock? What do you love about it?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Budget Plus Size clothing - Millers

I think for most of us, when we think of Millers we think of elasticated pants and matching floral pantsuits. We certainly would not always consider that it could be a place where you can find fashionable plus size clothing.

Lately though i have been finding my eye catch on some of their displays as I go past, and browsing through the racks. In the last year I have purchased some really great items from there, in particular some wonderful  coats during winter.

Millers clothing goes up to a size 22, although not on all items. I do find some of their items a bit hit and miss. Not everything fits right, and the quality varies. Although, much can be said for most items from many retailers. What you can count on if everything being very affordable. They frequently have sales where everything is less that $15. At the moment tops are $20 and pants are $15. I mean really, where else can you get an outfit for less than $40?

I recently purchased this top (although mine is sleeveless), It has a beautiful cowl neckline and is made from a sthick stretch fabric. I love it and wear it to work often.

I also bought a stunning one piece strapless costume, while I was pregnant, from Millers. The quality was actually far better than anything I found at Target and other retailers. It was fully lined, and even had padding in the bust. It also had a wonderful pattern with ruching along the side. Here I am wearing it for a belly shot

Lets take a look at some of my favourite picks from this season.


Round Neck Curved Hem Stripe Top, Stud detail shirt, Flutter sleeve top, Kaftan top, Geo print tunic

Colourful isn't it? It certainly does not look like the granny fashion were used to. You could easily be mistaken into thinking that the above pictures were from a City Chic or Autograph catalouge.

I do believe in trying to wear quality items and not buying 'junk' clothing. However, the reality is that I also am aware of how much I spend on clothing. I can not always afford to spend $50 or more on one item of clothing. In fact, the thought of spending $50 on a top make me feel a little queasy. I do think you need to look at the individual item and weigh up the quality and cost. As I said before, some of Millers items are a bit  'miss' quality wise, but on the other hand, there are plenty of 'hit' to be had too!

Next time you are at the shops make sure you duck into Millers and have a look. You may be surprised!

Have you found some unexpected buys from a shop you wouldn't usually shop at? I'd love to hear about it. Comment below! 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Aussie Curves - Polka Dot 2

Skirt - LoveToLoveYou from etsy,
 Top- City Chic
Belt - City Chic

This is Nerida's polka dot outfit. She was going to wear this dress again, but then remembered she owned this very cool skirt!

We both love Etsy. You can buy unique custom made outfits, often for less than what yo would buy in a shop. It can be a bit hit and miss. I mis-measured myself once for a dress and was a little generous, then they were also a bit generous so the resulting dress way about 2 sizes up! It was a lesson learnt though, and now I make sure I follow the sellers instructions precisely to get the right fit. 

This great skirt alternates polka dot fabric with a floral print. It is so fun with the ruffles peeking through and the buttons.

Check out the other polka dot outfits here 

And if you want to play along just follow these instructions

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Aussie Curves - Polka dot

I quite like the classic polka dot combination of red, black and white. Polka dot just screams retro, and I love the retro look.

I did have a particular top in mind for this weeks challenge. It is a nice white with black spot top. However while I was out shopping I spied this scarf at a $2 shop! I just loved the colour and the pattern (and the $4 price tag).  One of the aims of this blog is to show that you can still look great as a plus size woman, while on a budget.

Scarf - Hot Dollar
Top - Dorothy Perkins
Dress/Skirt - Crossroads
Shoes - Rivers
Bracelet - Gifted from a boutique shop
Sunnies - Target

Buying a cheap scarf from a cheap shop may not be everyone's cup of tea. However I really believe in not spending a lot of money on things like accessories so you can spend more money on great statement pieces or good quality staple items. I felt this scarf was a great example of not spending a lot on something small.

Budget Tip: Spend less on accessories or fashion trend pieces so you can spend more on other items

I loved how the pop of orange looked with the navy blue peplum top I was wearing. I also loved the fun mix up of the spots with the stripey 'skirt'. In fact, it is not actually a skirt, but a dress with my top worn over it. I find putting a top over a dress often works really well, and it adds a bit of versatility to the piece when you are able to mix it up a bit.

Budget Tip: Make the most of your clothing. Consider turning a dress into a skirt by adding a top over it.

The peplum top is a recent buy from Dorothy Perkins in the UK. I recently sold a bunch of clothing on Ebay with the purpose of making money that I can spend trying some stores from the U.K. I often look at Dorothy Perkins and ASOS but never felt like I could risk spending my money on something that may not fit. By selling my pieces I no longer wear I made a bit of pocket money that I could spend guilt free.

I purchased this peplum top, as well as a stunning red peplum dress (which I am saving for a wedding). I was delighted with both items, and they turned out to only be $35 including postage. One tip I learnt was to go a google search for Dorothy Perkins coupons because you may find coupon codes that can give you a further discount. I put my already heavily reduced items in the shopping basket, then added in the coupon code and received an extra 15% off. Yay!

I was really unsure if peplum would work for my pear shape. However this top is great. It has a soft stretch material. It doesn't stick out too much, and the peplum part starts from the bottom of my rib cage, so it basically glides over my tummy, but stops just below my hips.

Pear Tip: Don't dismiss clothing without trying it on. It is often about the cut of the item, so something may look good, even if it shouldn't suit your shape.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Towards a healthier me

I have struggled with my weight all my life. I was chubby in Primary school, and through High School. I did lose 20 kg's during my senior years at school. I looked and felt great, but I worked hard to get there. 1 - 2 hours of exercise a day. Lots of points counting. I kept most of the weight off for a few years.

 I can't say I've tried every diet though, because I have always known that for me a 'diet' where I take away entire food groups would not work for me. I did try the Tony Ferguson shakes at one point. I was so hungry by the end of the week I would have happily eaten my own arm.

I have done some pretty full on personal training in the past. I worked so hard, yet the weight didn't come off very fast. I did get fit though, very fit. My personal trainer was puzzled. She couldn't quite work out why the weight wasn't shifting. I wasn't eating bad, and was working so hard. A trip to a dietitian was ordered. There I was told I had a slow metabolism and was a little insulin resistant. Nothing much could be done other than keep trying. I kept going until after my wedding. Then I stopped.

I was tired of caring. Tired of counting everything that went into my mouth. Tired of a life of restriction and worry. So I ate what I wanted. I ate too much. Exercised too little. My clothing size increased.

I fell pregnant. I was happy that I didn't put too much weight on through it. Until I went on maternity leave. The searing heat combined with incredible heartburn led to me eating too many ice creams and milkshakes. I had Abbie and sadly realized it wasn't all baby (she was only 6 pounds after all), it was mostly me! Boo!

I tried Weight Watchers. I did well for awhile, I lost 10 kg's, but I had about another 30 to lose. Then I just stopped. I again became tired of caring. What I didn't know was that life had some other plans.

I started getting a pain in my right leg. I thought it was shin splints or a muscle cramp from wearing shoes that were too flat and thin. I ignored it. The pain became worse. I still assumed it was a cramp and I popped painkillers. Until I could barely stand without being in incredible pain. Sitting caused pain. Sleep was non existent.  I even went and had a leg massage.

Finally I went to the doctor. After a series of tests I was diagnosed with a blood clot. A large clot that extended from behind my knee. I was put on injection and blood thinners. Most of all I was scared. I realised I could have caused a heart attack or a stroke (especially after having the massage, I think my doctor nearly fainted when I told her I did this).

After a trip to the specialist I was forced to face reality. I needed to lose weight. I needed to get healthy. I had a family history of diabetes and was heading towards being diabetic myself. My chances of more clots are higher with the more weight I carry. The specialist pointed out it wasn't about not being attractive  it wasn't about aesthetics  It was about being there to watch my daughter grow up. Really, what better motivation is there?

I have joined Curves and go 3 times a week. I like it because it is quick, it monitors how hard I work and gives me feedback. I have cut back on bread and pasta. I eat salads as often as possible. Snack on fruit and cottage cheese. I am feeling good. Great in fact

I realised that this time it is different. I haven't set myself a goal weight, although I would like to fit into a size 14 eventually.  I have no set time to achieve this. I am not focusing on a number on the scales. My goal is just to be healthy. Eat well. Drink water. Exercise often.

 I have no goal in mind other than living a long, full, healthy life.

I am working towards a healthier me. I am happy.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

I heart my body!

I have not always had an easy relationship with my body. I have not always felt comfortable in my own skin. There have been times that I have raged at my appearance in the mirror. I have loathed photos of myself and am absent from many.I have mostly felt pretty let down and betrayed by it. It always has seemed to work against me. My weight has always fluctuated, my body seems to punish me when I indulge by instantly slamming on the weight. It has then been slow in taking that weight, which went on so quickly, off again.

As the years have ticked by these moments have lessened.

I asked myself if there was a moment that I loved my body. There was one moment that I thought of instantly

The day that I gave birth to my daughter..

The loathing I have felt for my body was replaced by awe and pride after I had my daughter.

As soon as I went into labour my body took over. I had a very smooth labour, with my daughter being born within 5 hours and I only ended up using gas. No, I don't mean to gloat (my friend often mutters 'bitch', in a very loving way, when I talk about my smooth labour) I am just in awe of this. I thought I would not cope with the pain, I feared that I would be in labour for a long time, and agonised over the thought that something could go wrong.

 I started to appreciate my woman's body for the amazing thing it just accomplished. My body, the same one that I have felt had let me down, had carried my healthy daughter for 9 months. It helped grow her, accommodate her and nurture her during that time. It went on to birth her.

When I look at my body I still see the stretch marks. I still see the large thighs, the love handles, the fat on my back. I still at times dislike what I see. However I appreciate and love my body for what it helped give me. I am a little kinder to myself.

A few months after I gave birth I briefly lamented to my Husband that I had more stretchmarks than ever before my tummy was still soft and squishy and I was larger than ever. He looked at me and told me that he loved it just as it was. Most of all because what all those things meant. They meant that I had had a child, his child, and he loved me and my body for that more than anything.

He was right. That is something worthy of loving yourself for.

I look at my daughter everyday and remind myself that she came from me. I know I can proudly say ...


I love that it carried and delivered my beautiful Daughter
I love that my Husband thinks it's beautiful, and admires it for giving him his Daughter
I love that I am feeling more secure in my own skin as I am getting older


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Aussie Curves - Break the rules 2!

Earlier in the week I shared my Aussie Curves Breaking the rules. Nerida is now ready to share hers!

Shrug - City Chic
Tunic - City Chic
Shoes - Spendless Shoes
Like me, Nerida tends to follow 'fashion rules' that are more about her own confidence. One thing that I always tell her is that she has killer legs. With my shape being a pear my legs tend to be thinker and more chunky. However Nerida's legs are thinner and much more shapely. I am always telling her to show them off a bit more, I know I would if they were mine.

So this week Nerida accepted my challenge and put on this outfit.

Really, if you had legs like those wouldn't you wear something short more often?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Aussie Curves - Break the rules!

When I thought of this week's theme I was at first thinking of playing it safe. I was going to break fashion rules such as mixing dots and stripes, or florals  with florals etc. However I started to realise that I have many fashion rules of my own. Restrictions that I place on myself because I am a 'fat girl'.

Generally I follow 'rules' for my shape. After all  that is why my Sister and I chose to refer to ourselves as sister Apple and Sister Pear. There are 'rules' you can follow to flatter your shape. Play up the positives and disguise the negatives. I know within the plus size fashion world there is a movement to 'throw away' these rules. Wear what makes your heart sing. I love this idea. I think it is great to see plus size women who are embracing themselves and having some self love and confidence. However, I am still happy to also wear what makes me feel good, and much of what makes me feel good does tend to follow the fashion do's and don'ts for my pear shape.

This is the 12th week of Aussie Curves. It has been wonderful to be part of a community of plus sized women who are celebrating their curves and sharing their own fashion. So, this week I decided to be bold and break some of these rules I follow. I even challenged myself to go out while wearing my outfit.

Two rules I am quite stringent about are :

  • Never wear a hemline above my knees 
  • Never year a sleeveless top unless wearing a cardigan

Top: Cable & Gauge
Skirt: Autograph (last season)
Belt: ASOS Curve
Shoes: Rivers
Earrings & Bangles : Mix of Diva & Equip

I dug out a denim skirt that I do wear. I honestly don't remember it being as short when I bought it, however it seems to be shorter than what i usually wear. I wore it a lot through Winter with leggings. I often pull the 
skirt down so it sits just on my knees and keep it there with a belt tied firmly in place. This time I let it sit around my waist and let that hemline sit above my knees.

Finding a top was a greater challenge. I didn't want to wear a top with spaghetti straps, yet i really don;t seem to own tops that don;t at least have a capped sleeve or are spaghetti straps. I then saw my lovely floral top. When I put it on it felt right. It was still very flattering with all the gathering at the bust, the asymmetrical hem and the soft gathering. I actually decided the it had a bit of a peplum feel to it. I popped on a new pair of wedge heels ( I so love them, so watch out for a post this week just about my recent shoe obsession!!)

I actually felt really lovely in this outfit. My Husband agreed that I looked great, although he did warm me not to do too much bending over in the skirt! Ha! He is not used to me wearing anything above my knees either!

When I cast a critical eye over my photos I would say that I really don;t know why I cover my arms so much. Yes, they are wide, but they are also smooth and blemish free. You can't really see the silvery stretch marks on the underside. I suspect I may be more daring this summer and not always wear a cardigan over my tops! 

What are your fashion rules? Why don;t you try breaking them sometimes? You may be surprised and quite like it!

While your at it, check out these other rule breakers!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Movie Date.. with a gal pal.

I recently went out for dinner and a movie with a Mum from my Mummy group. It was a rare treat for both of us. Your life definitely becomes consumed by your little one when you become a Mum. Although both my Husband and I have made  a point of ensuring we get some time with each other, but also by ourselves. It is so important to not lose yourself when you have a child. I think many times, women especially, lose their identity a bit. They become 'Mum' , sometimes 'Wife', but forget themselves.  

My friend and I decided to go see a movie, in Gold Class, share a cheese platter and go out for cake and coffee after. We watched the Australian comedy 'Mental' Oh My Word - HILARIOUS! I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you have an affection for quirky Aussie humor  We both cackled and roared our way through the movie. 

Afterwards we gossiped while we enjoyed a coffee and a piece of red velvet cake. Sharing our trials and triumphs as Mothers, Wives and in other aspects of our life. It is a friendship that I certainly cherish. 

Dress - Big W
Jacket - Crossroads
Shoes - Kmart
Necklace - Lovisa
Belt - Came with another dress

I wanted to wear something a bit special, but still a little casual. My skater dress from Biw W was perfect for this. I really love this dress as it is a thick knit but still light enough to wear into the warmer months, with 3/4 sleeves so my arms are covered. The best part about it is hat it can be worn to work, dressed up for going out, and dressed down for the movies.

The denim jacket really helps make the dress more casual. I also really love wearing brown with black. It always seems to lighten it up a bit. I popped on a brown belt, and a pair of brown canvas wedges

The wedges are also a total steal at Kmart for $15. The are really comfortable and fit my wider foot. I bought them in black too, and plan on going back for a red pair first chance I get.

I felt comfortable but still a bit special in the outfit. I must also add, it felt like a real treat to be able to go out with just a small handbag containing a phone, wallet and lippie! Ah, such luxury!

Tell me, do you make sure you take time out for yourself and catch up with a friend? What is your favourite place to go with a gal pal?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Aussie Curves - Knit

This week all the Aussie Curves ladies will be wearing knits. I know for me when it comes to cardigans I own a heap. I have mentioned before that I am self conscious about my arms. I generally always have them covered up, even during summer.

I actually have so many knits that I keep them in two separate areas. In my bedroom, I keep all long sleeve cardigans in a drawer. Only this weekend I decided to pull out my really thick winter jumpers and put them in another storage box, as I had so many long sleeved ones that the (very large) drawer was having trouble closing!

In my coat cupboard I use a shoe holder to hold all my short sleeve, cropped cardigans. There are 8 holes in the holder, and I have about 3 cardigans per hole. It's a sickness I tell you.

You would think then that I felt I had this week's theme 'covered', however my problem was that I felt a little uninspired. To me my knits are such a staple item that it was like being asked to feature a plain singlet top.

However, I suppose that is the point with Aussie Curves, share what works for you!

Cardigan - Temt
Dress - Old Navy 
Shoes - Spendless Shoes
Bracelet - Diva
Brooch - Ebay
Earrings - a gift from Italy

When I wear a cardigan with a dress or skirt I like it to stop just above my hips or below my bust. For my pear shape I find this is best, as it draws the eye to my narrowest part. If a cardigan is too long , and a dress is too flowy, it can make me look shapeless, which just makes me look larger. This cardigan has a lovely knitted pattern. It also has little pearl buttons and just a narrow hint of lace near the buttons. I like to add a brooch to my cardigans sometimes instead of wearing a necklace. 

Pear Tip: Have cardigans sit below the bust or above the hip. This si the narrowest part of your body. If you wear a longer cardigan, draw the eyes to your waist with a belt. It can even be tied over the top of your cardigan for a different look

The dress is a soft stretch material.  The gathering in the bust adds a bit of interest to the dress, while also making the bust area look a bit bigger. It then has an a line skirt, but is not to flowy either. I just love it, it is perfect for me.

I thought the whole look had a 'garden tea party' feel to it, so I dug out an adorable old bracelet I have. It has little ceramic teapots, cups and tea spoons on it. I also have the matching necklace. It is such a kitch litte charm bracelet, and perfect for the knit.

Nerida is sitting for some exams at Tafe this week, so she isn't doing any photos. Although, she did do my makeup. Over the weekend she needed to add another 'look' to her make up portfolio, so I went over and acted as 'model' so she could create a bridal look. Perfect! I LOVED it. I didn't so much love wearing a mocked up 'bridal' dress (a white dress found with a sheer white bolero) and having photos taken out in the street. She needed a nice background so I had to walk down her street to stand in front of a flowering tree and have some photos taken. Her neighbours were peering out of their windows trying to work out what on earth was going on. On the bright side, I look super lovely in my photos this week.

Make sure you go see what the other ladies are wearing this week. Maybe you have a blog and want to join in? Read the instruction below. The more the merrier!

Friday, 12 October 2012

A Revelation

Starting this blog has been a revelation for both of us. Being 'big girls' we have often had times when we felt unattractive. I know that all women feel this, but I think when you are plus size it is heightened. Trying on new clothing hasn't always been a positive experience. It has always been crushing when you try on clothing after clothing to find nothing that fits. Going into shops to discover they have nothing available in your size. Walking past more than half the shops in a shopping centre because there is no point in entering it.Clothing that is badly cut, with no consideration of a plus sized figure. Even when it is marked as 'your size'.

 I always have a real problem with arms. Seriously, it seems that sometimes they forget to up size the arms from a size 10 to 18. Many times I have attempted to try on a top that looks like it would fit perfectly. Except I couldn't get my arms through the holes. Or worse, I DO squeeze my arms through the holes, but they are so tight the circulation gets cut off. I then have an 'episode' in the change-room as I attempt to get my arms back out. Head covered by the top, I start to tug it off. Only to find my arms are firmly wedged in the holes. More tugging occurs, with the top still around my head. I start to get claustrophobic and hyperventilate. I have to pull the top back over my head to take in some fresh air before I re-start operation 'get the bloody thing off' again. Thankfully the top eventually comes off. The worst part though is I am left feeling humiliated and filled with self loathing. I especially feel angry that the retailer didn't consider the fact that a woman that is a size 16+ may be so all over, including the friggen arms.

Recently much of this is starting to change. Many retailers are seeing the market for plus size women in Australia. Finally my sister and I, and many other plus sized women, are able to find well cut beautiful clothing THAT FITS. It's still not perfect, there is still a long way to go. However it is a start. Starting this blog has linked us up to many other plus sized blogs. Through them we are becoming exposed to other brands, styles and outfits that we otherwise wouldn't have known. We are becoming inspired by the other beautiful curvy ladies, seeing that plus size does not have to mean unfashionable. In fact, in some cases it can mean fashion forward. Most of all, we have started to feel good about ourselves. We often say to each other 'Did you read that comment about how nice we looked?' and 'That person said she liked my outfit'. We are starting to see ourselves in a new light. We are starting to feel attractive. We are taking care in our appearance. Most of all we are liking what we see. We still may want to be thinner. We still may hunger to be a few sizes smaller. However, we are also starting to love ourselves more. Maybe one day we will be thinner, but right now we are learning to love the bodies that we are in.

 It has been a revelation, and we are loving it.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Aussie Curves - Blue (with a hooded eye make up tutorial)

Neither of us wear much of the colour blue. It isn't that we have anything against it, it's just not a colour that we gravitate towards very much. We do have a little bit of is royal blue, mainly due to the current colour blocking trend. For this weeks challenge we are not only showing off our outfits, but are also showing a great blue eyeshadow look that is especially great for the 'hooded eyelid' such as ours.

Janna  says:

 I have one to die for dress in a royal blue. It is from one of my most lust after plus size designer brands, Igigi. I bought this dress for two weddings that I attended a few months after I had my daughter. I wanted something that was colourful, but still flattering. I wanted something that didn't cling too much, but didn't look like a sack either. I tried on many dresses but kept looking at this one dress on styleandsubstance (An Australian stockist of Igigi and Kiyonna, although currently on a hiatus).

It was called 'So Pretty!' and it so was! I was unsure about buying off the Internet without trying on but I took the plunge and went for it.

Dress- Igigi
Shoes - Spendless Shoes
Earrings - Diva
Bracelets - Mix of Diva, Lovisa & Equip

I am so glad I did. The dress is all kinds of lovely. The fabric is a thick, silky stretch. It is lined with a thick stretch material too so it really does smooth you out. The one shoulder gives me a bit of gathering at the bust, which I really need. Being a pear shape I am much smaller on top than on bottom. I need to balance out my shape a bit, so I find ruching or gathering at the bust (plus a very good padded bra) helps balance out my wider hips.

For this look I kept it simple. Glitter heels, sparkly earrings and bangles. I had read that when you do one shoulder it is best to have your hair up rather than down. It allows your shoulders to feature.

I am not a huge fan of my arms, and if I were going out I would most likely have a wrap to just drape over my arms. However in this dress I feel like it is so pretty, no one would be looking at my arms anyway!

Nerida says:

I went for a more casual look. You have seen this cardigan before in other photos. I do wear it a lot because it is a really light weight stretch fabric. It is great to wear in the warmer weather. I really don't like to show my arms very much so I prefer to wear cardigans such as these. Besides, they add a nice pop of colour.
 Cardigan - SES
Dress - Best & Less 'Lily & Lou'
Shoes - Big W
Necklace - Market stall

The dress is a new purchase from Best & Less 'Lily & Lou' range. I just love it. The top part is just flowy enough to skim over my curves but not too loose either. The angled cut actually creates a bit of shape. They have a striped top version, and apparently an orange one but I couldn't find the orange at my local Best & Less.

What I really wanted to share with you was my makeup look. I am currently at Tafe studying Beauty Therapy. I completed a make up course at Tafe at the start of the year. This is a step towards a new career for me, where hopefully I can provide for my Son, while enjoying what I do.

Both Janna and I have what is called 'hooded eyelids'. This is common in Caucasian women, and it is basically where the eyelid is mostly covered when the eyes are open. This can make your eyes look smaller in your face, and also create shadowing under your eyes. This means that not all make up looks work on our eyes. I am starting to learn some really great tips at Tafe that have helped us get the most out of our makeup.

To do my makeup I started with my primer and foundation. However after I apply my foundation I now use a darker concealer or bronzer to contour my face. I put the bronzer under my cheekbone and under my chin along the jaw, and then blend it in well . This actually creates a bit of shadowing, which make you face appear thinner. Set the makeup with a bit of powder.

I then used a white shadow all over my eyelid, right up to my brow. I  added a bit of blue just in the corner of my eyes, and blended it into and just above the crease. The white eyeshadow makes the eyelid appear larger and reduces shadowing. I only apply blue to the corner and crease so it doesn't make my eyes look too dark, and therefore small.

Eyeshadow & Lipstick - Inglot
Mascara - Falsies Maybelline

Finally I add a thin line of eyeliner and mascara. Pop on a bit of pink lippy, some blush on my cheekbones and I am done.

There you go, A simple blue eyeshadow look for the hooded eye!

Are you feeling 'blue'? Check out the other ladies