New friends

Somedays just take you by surprise.

A lunch date turns into a giggle fest.

A new acquaintance turns into a new friend.

Yesterday was one of those days.

For someone normally reserved and one that holds her heart back I was lost at the first sign of craziness.

Maybe its because she makes my friend happy.

Or maybe because she is slightly insane like me.

Or maybe because I had found a kindred spirit.

Who knows, who cares

Whatever the reason i’m certainly looking forward to next time.

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Photo courtesy of @urbanvox

Get out of my head

I’ve had a lot of time this past week to think. Lying in bed ill leaves you with little energy to do anything else.

Its been a weird week and one where I have decided that being inside your own head for to long isn’t a good thing.

You question everything and anything.

Could you have done that different?

Should you have gone there?

Stayed quiet, shouted up ?

Said goodbye, screamed hello?

Seriously I think I may have drove myself insane.

Self analyzing is not a good thing.

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Looking back and judging the decisions you made doesn’t do you any favors it just leaves you with a headache.

The thing is I have made mistakes, who doesn’t but one hard lesson I have learned is this .

“You cant go back”.

Life moves forward even when you don’t want it to.

Your past is a series of lessons to be learned and your future is the one where you get to put all those lessons into practice.

 

Respect your past but embrace your future.

and stay out of your own head.

 

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”

Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

Stamptastic – Review

I am so late with this review and I’m so cross with myself. I can try and  use illness as an excuse but I wont because simply it should have been written way before I got ill.

What makes me so cross that this review is so easy to write as the product is simply awesome so without any further delay on my behalf let me introduce you to…

Stamptastic

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A new fast way of naming all your belongings!
A personalised stamp usable on fabric, metal, wood & plastic.
No more sewing or ironing on labels. No more losing
your pencil case or P.E. kit!
Now you can just stamp everything!
Transparent block for accurate, easy positioning.
The ink will last wash after wash.

Now my foster son attends a special needs school and everything he takes with him has to be labelled. Now add that to the extra clothes, bandanas etc etc he needs this adds up to a lot of labelling work for me. Now don’t get me wrong I have never been the kind of mom who spends hours lovingly sewing labels into her children’s clothes. No I’m more the type of mom who swears often as she burns her fingers as she rushes to iron in the iron on name tags. Only to swear again when she finds the so called labels in the bottom of the washing machine after the first wash.

So when I heard about stamptastic I was super excited and really pleased when asked to review one.

Again keeping in line with my normal organised self I was getting the school uniform out of the packages the day before they were due to start back. So I was already frustrated before I started the whole process of labelling and wasn’t in the best of moods (me never ha ha). Anyway stamptastic needed to be up to the mark as this  mother was at her wits ends I mean six weeks is way to long. I was tired and I was cranky but Stampstastic worked.

It was so easy to use you simply stamp on the label and that was it. It doesn’t need anymore explanation that this.

It was simply brilliant.

I won’t say it shifted my crankiness but it sure helped.

Since then I have washed the uniform numerous times and there bright as first printed is the name.

Its blooming awesome.

I do wish I could show you photos of my perfectly labelled uniforms but obviously for protection reasons (foster son) I can’t. But I promise you it hasn’t faded at all.

I am in love with this product my only regret is that it wasn’t around when my girls were younger. Though I did offer the teens the opportunity of having their clothes stamped but I will not repeat what they said to me, vile children.

Simply put Stamptastic is a fantastic product which I simply love.

* I was send a stamp to review but all opinions and crankiness are my own.

 

Oh what a night…. Plus North

When Olivia died I honestly felt part of me had died alongside her. I lost the ability to fully engage in a moment. Always aware of the missing piece to my jigsaw.

I lost all confidence in myself. I mean I had failed hadn’t I. I couldn’t save my daughter.

I just closed myself into a shell and survived the only way I knew how.

By pretending 

You know that moment when people ask you if you are ok  and you smile that smile, the one that never reaches your eyes and answer “yes I’m fine “.

You pretend 

I pretended and to be honest this went on for a long time in fact I still have those moments now.

My confidence was shot so add to this the weight gain caused by medication I really was lost.

Yet on Saturday I think I was found.

I have mentioned here before my journey to start loving on myself a little more. To appreciate the body I have and embrace the curves. It’s been a journey inspired by ladies like Becky and Betty two amazing ladies who rock their curves.

Well on Saturday I attended my first ever plus size event. Plus North.

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It was held in a truly stunning hotel,The Renaissance .Alan and I stayed in a suite which was beautiful. I also really want to mention that the service from this hotel was first class nothing was to much from the staff. I seriously hope to stay there again.

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Plus North is a fashion event where plus size clothing labels showcase their new lines to plus size fashion bloggers and lovers of clothes . Not that the two are mutually exclusive.

We had fashion shows from the brands with some inspirational ladies acting as models for the event and they really graced the catwalk with style. These ladies really inspired me, they showed true courage and self confidence that I can only dream  of.

The brands attending were Evans, Pieces of the past (which somehow i missed), Curvissa, Scarlett & Jo, Simply Be, Yours clothing , Excite clothing, Lovedrobe, Panache and Bon Prix, Topsy Curvy and Slink.

There was also a lifestyle section with BGP/ Plus size awards /Pose Plus Models, Miss Difusa, Lifes big Canvas, Twisted Siren, No7, Neal & Wolf and The Mighty Boof

 

I fell in love with so many of the clothes and the catwalk shows gave me inspiration as to what looks good. I came away with a few must haves that I may never have considered before.

 

I also fell head of heels in love with this dress from Scarlet & Jo. Yes that’s right me loving on a dress. Isn’t it beautiful, I can’t wait for it to come into stores.

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The day was amazing topped off by me winning a £100 for the Claire Richards range from fashion world. Whoop whoop.

 

Then came the After-show party. 

 

I will confess right here and now I nearly didn’t attend the evening. I have shied away from parties for so long that its has become a habit. But after a quick chat with Betty who instilled me with confidence I decided why not give it a try and Alan bless him he was just up for whatever I wanted to do.

 

Anyway picture this a room full of ladies and the occasional man singing their hearts out to karaoke and dancing the night away.

 

It was so liberating, to see women not hung up on the extra pounds but embracing who they are and loving themselves.

 

There was no negativity just pure positivity.

 

The whole event was about raising people up not tearing them down. So uncommon in this day an age.

 

I had a blast and I laughed like I hadn’t in such a long time. I was genuinely happy. These beautiful women invited me into their company and just loved on me.

 

They may not realize what they did for me that night  but they gave me the freedom and the courage to love me again.

 

I engaged fully into the moment, laughing from deep inside.

 

I actually looked in the mirror and saw a beautiful woman not a failure.

 

I am hoping this new found confidence stays around for a while. I do know I have a long way to go and hey I may always be a “work in progress.”

 

But this “work in progress“came home and ordered herself a dress.

That’s right I did it and I can’t wait for it to be delivered.

 

I had an amazing weekend and I cannot thank the girls at Plus North enough for organizing such a great event.

 

I can’t wait until the next one.

 

I know losing Livvy changed me and I will never be the same again but it is nice to finally start to like who I am.

 

It may have been a fashion event to many but for me it was so much more.

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If I had known then….

I can remember the moment as it was yesterday. I had listened to the Band Aid song on the radio and now watching News-round I was seeing the reasons behind it. The thousands of children starving, the thousands of parents crying for their children’s future’s, their children’s lives. I was sick to my stomach as  the tears fell down my face.

Right then and there I wanted to change the world, to make a difference.

Yet the adults around me just didn’t seem to understand. I was hearing phrases like “nothing will change it”  “we don’t have enough ourselves “or the worst “it’s not in this country”.

What!!!

Even then i knew we were all children of One God.

Yet when you are young you believe these lies, you accept them as truths.

I wish I could have found one person then who had known the truth. Who would have taught me that one person no matter how young or old could make a difference.

It took me a many years to realize this.

It’s what I teach my girls now, that they can make a difference.

That they can do whatever they want.

That’s why I’m so very proud when they advocate beside me for Compassion. When they hand over there own money towards the children we sponsor.

When they stand up against their peers for something they believe in.

Challenge their friends to think beyond themselves.

I hope they never feel so defeated like I did back then.

The world is a big place and we may feel tiny but never let that stop you.

Keep questioning and never lose your compassionate hearts.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

St. Catherine of Siena

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion