What’s your decision?

Being awake in the early hours with a teething baby gives you a lot of time to think. Something which I’m still trying to decide if it is a good or bad thing.

You see no matter where you are in the world right now it all seems a little crazy.

With the austerity measures effecting so many here in the U.K. The rise in Child poverty levels, homelessness and the devastating effects the cuts are having on a local level. Social care cuts, libraries closing and so much more.

Over in the USA the realisation of the what is coming in the next four years. Are we heading into an area of bigotry, hate and discrimination.

The awful attacks that are still happening in Syria, the lives being lost day after day.
It’s beginning to feel like hope is leaving this world.

Yet as I sit here with this precious little one in my arms I am reminded by something.


Reminded that these events do not define who we are.

As my little man places his hand in mind I am reminded how hope brought him to me. That from darkness came light.

It also hits hope the personal choices we all have to make. Do we allow this to continue or do we stand up and fight?

Fight against the darkness

Fight against the dark by being light.

I wish I had the answers, I wish I knew how to make it all okay.

But I don’t

But I know what I can do.

I can continue to love on people, to reach out to those who need some reassurance some hope.

I can stay fighting locally via the political landscape hoping and praying to make the impact of the austerity cuts less.

I can make sure I raise my children to believe in people, that love comes in many ways. That your gender should never define your decisions or your expectations. That your sexuality is never different or wrong.

I can email, protest and pray for the end of the persecution of all. Religion, your place of birth should never be a reason for hate.

I can be hope, live hope and breathe hope.

Love will always win.

This is something I will never lose hope in.

So that’s my decision, I guess the question is what’s yours?

Major event, major disappointment..

This weekend was supposed to be a major event in the plus size fashion world with the British Plus Size awards 2016. From what was advertised it was supposed to be a star studded night celebrating brands,bloggers and all from the plus size world.

So as you can imagine many were excited for this event, excited to see if their nominated brand, blog won one of what is seen as a truly recognisable award.

Now I do have to personally put my hands up and say I don’t know much about these awards as its not something I have ever attended but I know of many who have invested hard earned money into attending this awards, from ticket prices to outfits to accommodation it certainly wasn’t a cheap evening, so imagine the disappointment when on Friday evening this notice hit social media.

15027729_778901972241502_8248980597946446710_n

How blooming devastating for all those attending, how blooming wrong of the organisers.

Now I am not going to go into the speculation as to why this event was cancelled, to be honest it does seem to have been done in an extremely underhand way, but as I know non of those involved in the organising I am just going to stay quiet.

What I am going to do is jump on to a fantastic idea being spread via social media for us to use our platforms to give a big shout out to those affected by this cancellation, those that really matter in all this.

So thats what I am going to do.

My first shout is to the brand

logo

 

Silly Old Sea Dog sell handmade vintage inspired clothing here in the UK, which is available in sizes 6-24.  Dresses, playsuits, skirts, shorts,petticoats and some of the cutest accessories you have ever seen.

I am so in love with this

1950’s Style Christmas Nutcracker Dress4i5a9547-540x800

It would be perfect for Christmas party and Christmas day.

 

My second shout of the day goes the beautiful Tanya from the blog Secret Plus Size Goddess, Tanya was nominated for an award and is devastated by these cancellations.

If the awards had gone ahead Tanya would have wowed all in this stunning dress.

15095480_10154584769675540_9207283496396269755_n

Tanya you are utterly beautiful inside and out and I although you didn’t get to find out if you had won that award on Saturday you are always a winner in my eyes.

 

These two I have mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg  when in comes to the number of disappointed, financially down and emotionally let down people from Saturday night. This cancellation effected a lot and whilst I was never going to attend I am truly gutted for all those that had been so excited for their evening. I really hope that they receive some financial compensation at least.

All I can say though is this event is not what makes the plus size community so amazing. Its the people and brands that are breaking down the barriers and reminding the world that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. You people, you rock …..

Friendship #lovegiving

I have been thinking a lot about friendship and how its supposed to be. Any regular readers of this blog would know that its something I struggle with, I have often let my insecurities and lack of self confidence become a barrier to true friendship. Thats not to say I don’t have some amazing friends because I certainly do, but this year has definitely been a year of progress for me in the area of friendship but also self belief.

I was asked by very.co.uk to take part in their #lovegiving campaign, anyone who hasn’t seen the advert have a watch here.

As well as this super lovely Christmas video you will see that Very took to the streets and  has been handing gifts out in random acts of kindness.

 

So when they offered me the chance to do this I absolutely jumped at the opportunity, I love getting to bless people especially when there is no real reason other than to remind them how amazing they are.

#lovegiving

This week I got to give a gift to a friend who I find inspirational. I have only known her for a couple of years but her friendship has blessed me in so many ways. Besides her crazy love for life her spirit is just so open and warm. She certainly hasn’t had the easiest of years but her strength of character is something I really admire. Her courage to say yes when many would say no is something I truly love.

What really makes this friend special to me is that she loved me enough to call me out, she ignored all my excuses and told me straight that “ I was scared of friendship”. She cared enough about me to risk me walking away and this is something I will be forever grateful for.

Her call out gave me clarity, it allowed me to see that I wasn’t been rejected by people but that I was doing the rejecting first rather than risk getting hurt, rather than trust in myself and in others.

I have to say that this revelation has tested me at times and as always I am still a work in process but I am so thankful for my friend and so happy that I got to treat her thanks to very.co.uk.

 

 

Love revolution 

Well what a week, many of us are feeling a little lost, afraid and extremely angry. Still whilst we may not have expected the results of the USA elections we still need to hold on to hope.

Hope that Donald Trump is more than the media is portraying him. 

Hope that those that voted for him did so for reasons beyond racism and bigotry.

Hope that the next four years will be ones of respect for all people regardless of their gender, religion or sexual orientation.

Hope that the new President will work towards peace not more war.

I have to hold on to this HOPE

Yet I cannot just hold on and just wait and see, I only have to look at our own government to see that value is not placed in all people. 

So I have to move forward and be,

Hope in action.


So I’m calling on you all to join me, 

Let’s start a love revolution.


Step out in love, reach out to the communities that will be feeling afraid, unvalued, disrespected and remind them they are loved.

Stand up for the vulnerable, fight against oppression and tyranny.

Stand up in Hope and stand strong in Love. 


Never give up.

#loverevolution 

Christmas style from Lovedrobe 

It’s that time of year when invitations start coming through the door for Christmas parties, work do’s or the general let’s use any excuse for a night out invites. 

I love Christmas and this year is going to be rather special as it will be our first with our new son. So it’s time to sort out my outfits for this seasonal time. I am actually more excited than usual to step out of my day to day snot covered clothes into something special.

Lovedrobe is a UK fashion brand for curvy clothes they have a wonderful selection with some beautiful dresses. 

I have fallen in love with this one. 


Jacquard detail midi dress.


I am loving the midi style as it covers my knees a feature I’m personally not happy with. I love this dress as it’s perfect for the season but it still has a edgy feel which is perfect for me.


*please ignore my expression, little one has kept me up this week.

I just love the pattern on this dress. The fitting needed me to size up a little but besides that the quality is beautiful.


I will be styling with my heels and sparkly bag for the party season.
* I did get to choose this dress for the purpose of the review but all my opinions are honest and my own. 

From babies with love. 

I’ve been a Big Issue reader since I was at college and first learn of it. I was just impressed by the philosophy of it and also inspired by those selling it. 

So when I heard about the online shop and especially the new baby shop I had to let you all know. I mean I may be a little baby obsessed at the moment thanks to my new little man but when you get the opportunity to shop in a social conscious way but also for extremely cute things it has to be a win win situation. 


I am in love with so many Items from the From babies with love range but my favourite has to be the adorable blankets. I so want a rabbit blanket how cute would it be to wrap my little man up in this. 


From Babies with Love is the award-winning baby brand that donates 100% of its profit to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. The profits from the design-led, ethically sourced range of products support the children to grow up in loving family homes dedicated children’s villages. The children have an SOS Mother, brothers and sisters, recreating a family unit and supporting the children to go on to independent adult lives, breaking the cycle of poverty.

The brand speaks to the powerful emotions parents feel for the welfare of children universally. It also appeals to style-conscious parents who want beautiful, premium products.

 

Founder and editor in chief of The Big Issue Lord John Bird says ‘It’s a very special shop because what we sell helps. It helps you because it’s something that you want to buy. It helps us because it gives us income for our work. And it helps the people who make the stuff that we sell to you! It’s a virtuous circle. Winners all around. And it’s all social trading”.

Personally I’m wondering what’s not to love …… 

Eight years 

I wasn’t sure I was going to write this year, I was thinking, wondering if I should let the day go past without remembrance. Yet I knew it would be a lie, a falsehood because pretending that this anniversary doesn’t exist doesn’t make it so. In fact the pretence builds its power giving it more control.

Eight years, eight long years of missing my beautiful daughter. 

Eight years since I held her last in my arms.

Eight years since I heard her sweet giggle.


Grief, it’s a horrific road, it often plays unfair. Sometimes it even allows you to feel like you are winning, only to sweep your feet from underneath you, cold and swift. 

Yet the truth is that grief and love, they walk hand in hand. Without one you would not get the other.

So I’ve decided today that I’m not going to hide away.

I’m going to immerse myself in all that was Olivia, 

That is Olivia.


I’m going to give myself permission to walk through the valley of pain in hope to find a place of peace.

I’m going to remember her sweet little ways, her cheeky character, her strength of spirit.

And I’m going to give thanks 

Thanks that even now in the midst of grief, I am so thankful that I got love.

I am one incredibly blessed woman that I was lucky enough to have this child call me mom. 


That I would walk a lifetime in pain for the privilege of being Olivia mom. 

That whilst nine years will never be enough they were such a gift. 

My beautiful girl I wonder if you really knew how you changed my life. How you opened my eyes into a world of innocence and honesty. How living one day with you would often seem like a lifetime. You taught me so much, you challenged me, to embrace each moment, to celebrate each breathe. 

Many can travel this life without really knowing their destination, their purpose. You young lady gave me mine, you made it crystal clear what was expected from me, I’m still hearing your instructions from heaven. 

Be kind for kindness sake
Be thankful for all things 
Stand up for what matters 
Be the voice of the voiceless 
And never ever be afraid to say yes to love. 

We are not all promised forever but knowing you are loved is a lifetime gift. 
Thank you for being one of my greatest gifts.

My beautiful daughter
My inspiring Livvy.

Until I get to hold you again, love you girlie xxx

Twenty years of flying

Dear Alan 


How do you find the right words to describe twenty years of marriage? I could go with the old adages “I would have got less for murder” or you are “my old ball and chain”.

Yet none of these are right. 



I’m simply going to say 



“You gave me wings and encouraged me to fly”.


Now it may not be politically correct or of a feminist nature to say my husband completes me or that I finally found myself with you, but this is the truth. Before I met you I just didn’t know who I was. My identity was formed by the opinions of others of who they wanted me to be or what suited them. You came along and just let me be and you loved me for me, eccentricity and all. Never did you laugh at my wild ideas or my crazy plans you just stood by my side and said let’s try it.



You have be my core, when I have felt weak and lost you have been my strength and my direction. 


When we lost Olivia I wasn’t sure I could carry on but slowly even in the midst of your own pain you held me close reminding me daily that life has so much left to give and that we still had a journey to make.

You make me laugh so often, sometimes even when you don’t mean to and to be honest those times are often the funniest (sorry). 

You love on your children with such tenderness that watching you hold our new son in your arms makes me fall in love with you all over again.

Let’s be honest though you are annoying at times, singing out of time with the songs on the radio, keeping me awake with your snoring or leaving your socks on the floor. Still I guess I would be walking a dangerous road if we were to compare tidiness as I am far from the neatest.

I actually cannot believe we have been married for twenty years. In fact I have now spend more than half of my lifetime with you. Yet it still feels so short, we have so many plans and memories still to make. Children to raise, daughters to marry off (ha ha) sons to care for. 


You are simply amazing and I know you know how much I love you but I do wonder if you know how much I admire you. 


I often get asked how I do what I do, my answer is simple “because of you”. Alan you are my strength, I know I can go out into the world and try things knowing that whatever the outcome if I fail or if succeed you will be there waiting for me. 



I watched your face as I graduated last week your smile spoke volumes. You were so proud of me as I collected my degree but I couldn’t have done it without you. Endless cups of tea, having the children whilst I study. You were my support system and my room service all in one. 


Happy anniversary dear husband, thank you for loving my unconditionally. For caring for me, for not strangling me at times.



I love you today, tomorrow and forever and whatever the future holds let’s laugh hard, cry hard and just embrace life together.



Love you moon, stars and back again



Your darling, wonderful, beautiful wife (writers privilege)



Sara xxx