15.12.17

NYE Outfit Goals


As Kristen Wiig famously yells in the film Bridesmaids, "I'm ready to PAAAAAAAARTY!" 

Every year I spend the festive period with my family but come New Year's Eve, I'm back in London and it's all about the bubbles and besties! I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing this year but one thing I do know is that I'm gonna look hella pretty!

Whether you're going out or staying in, I thought it might be helpful to show you what I plan on wearing and that might inspire you to dress up this NYE.






If I could put a bet on what I do this year, it'd be celebrating with a small gang of friends at one of our houses, I'll consume a lot of Aperol and we'll sing, dance and play lots of games - even just writing it makes me smile. I've not gone out-out for NYE in a long time. I love the ones where I end up at a local pub or at my friend's warehouse...wow I really am getting old now. 

Whatever you end up doing, I hope you have a fab night and if you drink, don't forget to down lots of water before going to bed - it'll help that horrendous hangover!




What I'm wearing

My stunning jumpsuit is by Premme.

Premme was started by my two friends in the states, Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg. You will most certainly have seen them...they are the QUEENS of plus size fashion. Nicolette and Gabi were two of the bloggers I started following 5/6 years ago and I look up to and admire both of them soooo much. I want to be like them when I'm grown up haha.

Premme ships internationally which I am so thankful about. I have never wanted so many items from a plus range in my whole life. Please take a look and see for yourselves... congrats Nicolette and Gabi on producing one hell of a brand!

1. Jumpsuit | 2. Earrings | 3. Boots | 4. Jacket - similar here



Photographs by JKGPhotography

P.s I love the fact it started snowing just as Jade and I started to shoot this look. It made the images feel all festive wouldn't you agree?
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11.12.17

5 Things to Remember this Christmas


1. Those pictures you see on social media don't tell the entire truth.

No matter what time of year it is, you're always bombarded with pictures of everyone's perfect life and I'm here to tell you half of it is a load of old phoney! No one captures the moment they had a meltdown in the supermarket or a solo cry in the car or the huge family row or the fact that even surrounded by people; they still felt really alone. Stop comparing your own life to someone else's. Every single one of us is battling our own demons, so just remember that when you think your work mate or best friend is untouched by shittiness. 

2. Who gives a shit if you put on a few pounds/half a stone/skip a day or 5 of your shitty diet.

Guys, guys...life is too short. Eat, Drink and be Merry. If you're lucky enough to be able to indulge, go for it! My favourite meal of the entire year is my Christmas dinner and I just love looking over and watching my Mum cry without fail as she looks around the table at us/the food. Gravy. Pigs in Blankets. Baileys. Oh man, it's just amazing, isn't it?! 

3. Take time out for yourself.

There can be a big pressure to constantly be "on" and fully engaged with everyone during the festive period. Does anyone else struggle with this? I think the reason I struggle with being in people's company 24/7 is that I have spent so many years being single that I really, really like my own space. Now don't get me wrong, you guys know I'm a bit of a social butterfly but there's actually nothing I like more than being curled up on my sofa, enjoying some "me" time! Make sure you take time out whenever you can be it an extra long bath or a walk to Tesco's to get more booze. 

4. If you're single, remember...that's ok and it doesn't make you any less of a person.

I get it. I'm single and have been for mannnny of my 31 years on this planet. I can get a little sad when I look around and see couples getting Christmassy BUT it's important to remember that just because you don't have a significant other; there are still probably a lot of people that think about you and love you. Every year I watch my friends head off to Winter Wonderland with their partners and this year I thought "Fuck it" I'm going with my best mate and you know what; I had THE BEST night ever! Do things YOU want to do, in your own time and enjoy the fact you don't have to visit any problematic in-laws. 

5. If you feel alone, there's always someone out there to talk to.

No matter who you are, how popular you seem to others, how many family members you have; peel away that front you put on and you might feel quite lonely. If this is the case, please remember that there are tonnes of people in your position and there are plenty of people/organisations you can reach out to. Some people aren't fortunate to have family members or loved ones and it actually breaks my heart to think of those people. If you're one of those people and you're reading this - please know that I am thinking of you and you matter. 

At the end of this blog post, there is an amazing infographic put together by Kellie Brown and Lottie L'Amour - they have compiled a huge list of charities & organisations that can help you.










Photographs by JKGPhotography
Shop my look 

1. Dress - (sadly out of stock from ASOS, but similar here | 2. Velvet Bag | 3. Wide Fit Heels | 4. Earrings


                                                           Infographic put together by Kellie Brown and Lottie L'Amour

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5.12.17

3 Ways to supercharge an all-black outfit.


There's something about an all-black outfit that just says 'Hello, I ooze sophistication, I'm pretty damn trendy yet I've put in minimal effort.'

I think the above is an aesthetic I lean to more often than not. I like to look well put together with an air of, I don't give a f*ck. All-black outfits can be pretty bland if you stick to one fabric type or one trend BUT the real magic of a head to toe black look comes via the attention to detail. 

Mix up your fabric types, play around with silhouettes and throw in some fabulous details and you have a recipe for a standout all-black look.

  



Here are my top tips for turning heads with your jet black look...

1) Wear different fabric types

I remember when I would wear a black jersey pencil skirt (Do you guys know the ones I'm talking about? Approx £7.99 from H&M and I livedddddd in them) black jersey leggings and black jersey tops. Looking back, I'm not sure they were my greatest looks tbh...

Keep things exciting and try pairing different materials like I have in this look. I've got a knit jumper on with cotton sleeves, a leather skirt and mesh/satin high heels. There's a lot going on...but I like it!

2) Play around with silhouettes

Big sleeves, check. Cropped jumper, check. Leather pencil skirt, check. Paper bag waistband, check. Pointed booties, check. I love how the cropped jumper allows the top of the skirt to do all the talking yet the sleeves make sure the jumper also stands out. The balloon shaped sleeves are really current and on trend right now and the tie detail on the cuffs make me one happy bunny!

3) Accessorise 

Whether you add a faux fur stole, or statement tassel earrings...there will always be tonnes of black accessories out there to help jazz up an all-black outfit. 
I love the mix of vinyl and matte so have a play around with accessories and remember; with black...more is more! Don't forget all the fun you can have playing around with different shoes...I love velvet heels for instance and faux fur cuffs on the end of a fine knit jumper look SO good!

Here are some of my favourite jet black accessories currently online...





 


1. Cropped Jumper | 2. Skirt | 3. Wide Fit Heels | 4. Earrings, similar here 



Photographs by JKGPhotography

What do you guys think of this all-black look? Thumbs up or thumbs down? 
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7.11.17

Laser Eye Surgery - What Really Happens.


Just over a week ago, I underwent Laser Eye Surgery with Optical Express. It was a decision I made after much consideration and lots of umming and ahhing. 

In the lead up to my surgery, I obviously googled the hell out the procedure (this has its positives and its negatives), lots of people were keen to share stories they'd heard, urban myths regarding the surgery and everyone told me I was super brave for doing it. I was nervous and worried how the day would pan out, how I would react to having my eye "sliced open" and how I would feel afterward.

I'm guessing a lot of people have the same concerns as I did, SO I thought I'd write a post talking you through the entire day, explaining the ins and outs and all the "gory" details they might not tell you in the fancy pamphlets. 

*Please note, this post is written from my perspective and details are relevant to my personal experience/ type of surgery I underwent and lifestyle. You will have to discuss your options with your Surgeon and research relevant details regarding Laser Eye Surgery. (I recommend the Optical Express Youtube site for heaps of useful information) 


Surgery Preparation

In the lead up to the surgery, depending on the surgery you have, if you are a lenses wearer etc; you will have a few things you need to do to make sure you are ready for the surgery.

Here's what I had to do in the lead up to surgery...

1) I stopped wearing contacts for 10 days prior to surgery - this was difficult as I loved wearing lenses on special occasions and preferred wearing my glasses for day to day life BUT I managed and it made me even more excited about finally getting my eyes "done".

2) I stopped wearing eye makeup for two days before the surgery - this wasn't great if I'm honest with you. I love my eye makeup, hell, I LOVE ALL MAKEUP so it was tricky going cold turkey and having to go to a few events/jobs without my "face on" but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, and I wasn't about to go against my Surgeons advice.

3) I made sure I had someone (I obviously chose Mummy V) to come with me on the day so that they could a) hold my hand in the waiting room and b) guide me home afterward. You aren't allowed to drive after your surgery, so bear that in mind. You also have to go back the following day for a check-up, so if you live far from your place of surgery; you might want to consider staying overnight near by. Mummy was my perfect chaperone, and if you're reading this (which I know you are) - thank you, love you xx.


4) Made sure I read EVERYTHING Optical Express gave to me in my little information pack. I wanted to make sure I was totally in the know and I ended up reading everything a million times because my Fibromyalgia makes me anxious and before undergoing things like surgery, the more I know, the more I feel reassured and can focus on looking after myself/keeping my chronic pain to a minimum.

5) This isn't essential BUT it made total sense to me ahaha...I bought myself a new, fabulous pair of cheapo sunglasses (thankfully they are all on sale currently) as they advise you to bring along a pair, as your little old eyes will be feeling sensitive post surgery. *Please note, you dont have to buy new sunnies...I'm just extra and addicted to shopping sooooooo.

6) Do not get your nails done in the run-up to surgery...this includes false nails/nail varnish. You aren't allowed to wear nail varnish for your surgery and I just want to give you a heads up, as it'd be such a waste of money getting fresh nails done and then having to take them off the day before/day of surgery!



The Day of your Procedure.

I was first on the list (I chose to have it done at the Shaftesbury Avenue branch in London) and this meant an early start for Mum and I.

Here's what I had to do on the day of my surgery...

Pre-treatment

1) I had to eat normally before going in and make sure a had a sweet cup of tea to wake me up.

2) I washed my face as normal BUT wasn't allowed to wear any face cream/moisturiser/eye cream. My face felt dry, I'm not going to lie haha.

3) I wore a cotton top and a loose skirt as they advise you to wear comfy clothes and the advise you against wearing sweaters or any materials that are made from loose fibers.

4) I didn't wear any perfume - I actually don't know why I wasn't allowed to but the rules said so, so I followed suit!

5) I made sure we got there in plenty of time. This is something that is obvious but for those of you reading this with chronic pain, it makes sense. More time to chill when you're there, get your thoughts together and have some water/tea whilst you're waiting.

6) I took all my consent documents to reception and signed all the relevant parts. I made sure I had thoroughly read through everything before signing my life away!

7) I underwent some repeat tests in order for them to check my suitability for treatment and to check the treatment I was about to undergo was the right one (there are a few variations of Laser Eye Surgery). These were the same tests I had had in one of my initial consultations and nothing to be scared about. I was then taken back into the waiting room so I could sit with Mum.

8) I met my Surgeon, pre-treatment and this was really, really assuring. He made me feel at ease, we had a little joke around and he settled my nerves. I was able to ask him anything else regarding the surgery and to double triple check a few concerns.

9) I was then shown into the laser suite - where a lovely Nurse explained the procedure to me and prepared my eyes for surgery. The Nurse dropped anesthetic drops into my eyes and this completely numbed my eyes... ready for surgery.

10) I met a Surgical Team Associate - who again, made me feel at ease, reviewed my care notes, eye drops and ensured all my final questions had been answered.

The treatment procedure

1) I was taken into the treatment room - The nurses checked my details (D.O.B etc) ran through the procedure with me and I was able to ask any last minute questions. I was asked to lie down on the treatment bed and my head was lightly secured in a molded rest. My head wasn't clapped to anything, it didn't feel invasive and the only thing that was uncomfortable was having to lie flat on my back with no pillow (again, for people with chronic pain, this is something to factor in)

2) The Surgeon will then place a little clear, eyelid holder over your eye. This is what keeps your eye open and prevents you from blinking. There are no scary clamps, your eyes are very gently held open and it doesn't feel too invasive at all! The natural sensation to blink is almost totally eliminated by the anesthetic drops previously dropped into your eyes.

3) Time for treatment! - I underwent LASIK surgery and here's what happened...
Firstly, they need to produce the "LASIK flap". A little ring is placed on the eye (which helps keep the eye in position) and this is where you feel some pressure. NO PAIN, just pressure. The pressure increases slightly and then your vision appears pretty dark...black I'd say. This happens for about 20 seconds. This part is slightly odd as you know it's light in the room but everything is pretty dark. The pressure increases slightly on the eye and then a little vibration almost, for approx 4-5 seconds. NO PAIN. Your vision then returns and you are able to see a blurry red light. The Surgeon at this point has created the corneal flap. Each eye took approx 12 seconds to laser. An eye tracking system is then activated and this allows the laser to follow even the slightest eye movement during the laser treatment.

You are moved gently to a second laser, called the Excimer Laser and each eye is then treated again approx 10 seconds per eye. During this treatment, the laser produces a loud clicking noise, almost like the noise a taser makes and you also smell some pretty funky smells coming from the machine. These are the gases from the laser I am told.

You are able to breathe normally throughout the entire procedure and the nurse had to keep telling me to do so! Your natural reaction is to hold your breath so it was really reassuring to hear that your breathing isn't compromised.

The surgeon/nurses drip some drops into your eyes, release the ring holding your eye open and you're ready to go to the rest area!

I could tell instantly that I could see BUT your vision is really cloudy, you can see where you're going but things are blurry. I was looking round the room excitedly but I also didnt want to strain my eyes and you are told to rest them immediatly after the treatment so I was keen to do as I was told!

Treatment time - approx 15 mins in total and NO PAIN.

Post treatment

1) You are taken to the rest area ( a dark, quiet room) - time to sit with your eyes closed and time to relax! Mum came to see me and she wanted to know everything that had gone on.

2) You are left to rest for 15-30mins and even though your eyes do not hurt, they do feel slightly irritated and they are definitely light sensitive. You are given goggles to wear and they have dark lenses which make looking around, a lot easier.

3) The Surgeon comes to check on you, checks your eyes with a microscope and checks everything is a-ok. My surgeon put some more anesthetic drops in my eyes and then I went back into the rest area.
A Nurse then came and talked through my aftercare with me, showed me the drops I would need to use for a week after and I was able to ask any final questions. I was told I was not allowed to wear makeup for a week and seeing as I love wearing makeup, I was a little worried how I'd get on cosidering I had a trip to Manchester, gigs, work and social things to attend. I was told I couldn't wash my face for a week and I was told I would have to wear my goggles at night for a week - to stop me from rubbing my eyes in my sleep (no eye rubbing for a week!)

4) You are discharged, given your aftercare leaflets and off Mum and I went! We took a cab home and I sat with my eyes closed, sunnies on, drifting in and out of sleep.

5) Throughout the day - you are advised to keep your eyes closed and you are not able to read, look at the tv, look at your phone, drive etc. As the anesthetic drops wore off, you do notice a slightly gritty feeling in your eyes and they do feel tender. Your vision is blurry like there's a mist over your eyes and I did have a tension headache for the remainder of the day BUT nothing too dramatic and nothing to worry about. Your eyes are also a little bloodshot (my right eye a little more than the left) but this is all totally normal. I took paracetamol throughout the day, my Mum helped me put my drops in and I just lay on the sofa snoozing and listening to the tv.



The Day After

1) I woke - still feeling a little hazy/cloudy but my vision was returning to normal and I could tell that my sight had changed forever! My eyes were a little more bloodshot compared to the previous day but I assume this is just like bruising, it gets worse before it gets better.

2) Time for your Post-Operative Appointment - Shades on (you have to wear your sunglasses/goggles out and about and this is advised as your eyes are super sensitive) and Mum and I headed back to Optical Express. The staff were sooooo friendly, welcomed me back, kept on asking how I was etc and one of the staff checked my eyes, checked my vision and gave me the all clear!

I had to read from a chart which had three lines of letters on. If you can read the first line clearly, you have 20/20 vision and if you can read any of the lines below, you have better than 20/20 vision. I could read all three lines (the last row not so clearly) so, it appears I have better than 20/20 vision! Hurrayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!



Photography by JKGPhotography 

Shop My Look 

1. Jumpsuit - similar here | 2. Red Boots - similar here | 3. Belt  | 4. Red Lipstick 

I can't quite believe I've had Laser Eye Surgery, to be honest! I know I am pretty extra and love to exaggerate things BUT I do feel like my life has completely changed! Fingers crossed for the better!

Stay tuned for my final post where I tell you:

  • What I can do now I've had surgery.
  • If I would recommend undergoing Laser Eye Surgery
  • If my dealings with Optical Express has changed my view on Laser Eye Surgery
  • What I have experienced post-surgery i.e how my eyes are, how my vision is etc
  • What my follow up appointments/care has been like.

                                             *This post is an advertisement feature and sponsored by Optical Express. 
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