Sunday, 10 January 2016

Freya Afterglow Bra Review

A couple of months ago a lovely lady from Bras Galore got in touch to see if I would like to do a bra review. After my brain initially went 'oh god no, not ready' I decided to just go with it and said yes for two very good reasons. The first being one I touched on in my first post after my break. My relationship with my body has changed. All the love and admiration I once had for my body has gone and it's hard to look at it without picking out all its flaws at the minute. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone a little bit and highlighting the parts of me I used to like the most is helpful and thankfully my boobs (and putting them up for all to see!) qualifies for both of those! 

The second reason is self care. Boobs are important and need to be looked after, especially during and after pregnancy. It can be very, very hard to remember to or make the effort to look after yourself following the death of a baby but it is so important. I've written more about this and the changes your body goes through after loss on my other blog, Frivolous Mama. 

The bra I chose to review is the Freya Afterglow plunge bra in a 38HH. Before I was pregnant I wore a 38J, then a 40J during pregnancy for comfort. However, I was fitted after I gave birth and was quite surprised to find I had gone down a cup size. 

In terms of sizing Afterglow is spot on. When I was choosing which bra to review I read a few reviews claiming otherwise but I found the fit to be great. The band fit perfectly on the first hooks (always start off here and move back as the band stretches with wear) but at the end of the day it did leave me with a red mark round my ribcage. I'm sure after a few wears though it will loosen up a little. My boobs fit well in the cups with no wrinkly or bulging and the central gore sat flush with my skin. I'm normally a little wary of bras with such a large lace top cup as my boobs are top heavy and tend to spill out, however the lace on Afterglow is quite firm so held me in all day. The straps were wide enough to add extra support but still pretty, especially with the floral print. 

Freya Afterglow plunge bra 38HH

This is my first Freya bra in a long time but I'll definitely be buying more. You can purchase Afterglow from Bras Galore along with masses of other gorgeous D+ bras.

Mrs D x

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Homemade Christmas Food Gift Guide

For the last few years I've been making food gifts to give to family and friends for Christmas. I love baking and cooking and as I don't have a regular 9-5 job I have plenty of time to spend cooking up a storm during the festive period. Part of my plan to get through this Christmas as best I can is to continue with this tradition for a few reasons. Partly because it keeps me busy and gives me something to do and also because as I've mentioned before I find creating and making things very healing. There's something really enriching about providing people with good, homemade food. I've always loved it and it feels extra special at Christmas.

I'd like to say that giving homemade gifts saves me tonnes of money but the reality is that making homemade food gifts can be quite costly. However, with a little forethought and preparation you can save a few pennies.

1. Collect containers throughout the year. Buying empty jars and bottle can get very pricey at around 50p each so every time you finish a jar of jam or one of those tasty little GU desserts (don't pretend you don't know the ones I mean...), pop them in the dishwasher and stash them away.
2. Get creative! Don't waste money on those albeit beautiful but overpriced packs of pretty material covers and labels for jam jars. Make your own covers with scraps of fabric and pinking shears and print off your own labels. I've listed five of my favourite free printable Christmas labels below.
3. Never throw away gift bags and boxes you're given at Christmas. As lovely as it is to give food gifts in beautiful wicker hampers those can be really expensive and a nice gift bag or box looks just as lovely. I pop some festive tissue paper in the bottom and keep my printed labels themed so everything matches.
4. Buy in bulk. If you're going to be making something like 10 jars of tomato and chilli jam you're going to need a LOT of tomatoes. Try negotiating a deal with a local farm shop or buy from a cash and carry.
5. If you do need to buy jars, bottles, gift bags etc. have a look in bargain type shops. Some of my favourite gift bags and boxes have come from Wilko over the last few years (they also do some fab cheapy decorations!). Other places to check out are B&M Stores, Homesense and Home Bargains.

Marmalade (I like to put a big glug of whiskey in mine!)
Oaty cheese biscuits (these are delicious on their own with a little swipe of butter)
Cherry and coconut florentines (my mama's favourite!)

Do you make any Christmas gifts? Would you ever consider it? 

Mrs D x

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Festive Hair Accessories

I've always had a thing for adorning my hair with flowers, bows and pretty accessories. It's something I never really grew out of. I remember a cruel comment from a girl at college when I was about 16 about a rather cute polkadot hairband that really upset me and I stopped dressing my hair up for a while. I soon learned though that I didn't care much for what people thought of me and I became known for my hair bows.

Accessorising definitely isn't important to me at the minute but my wonderful best friend reminded me today that one of the ways to learn to like your appearance is to look after it which made me think about the things I used to like about myself. Shoving ridiculous crap in my hair was definitely one of them! With the festive season upon us I thought I'd put together a little collection of Christmas hair accessories. Some are subtle, some are not but they're all fabulous!

Hover over the image to see info and click to take you through to the website!

Would you wear any of these? I've bought myself the glittery holly clip to don on Christmas Day!

Mrs D x

Monday, 16 November 2015

Xandres Xline at House of Fraser

Earlier in the year I featured this Dickens & Jones dress and mentioned how surprised I was to see the huge selection of plus size clothing at House of Fraser. Since then that selection has grown and now includes 25 brands and designers and over 700 items ranging from sizes 16-30. I was kindly asked if I'd like to pick an item to review from a new-to-me designer, Xandres Xline

Xandres are a luxury Belgian brand which means items are a touch pricier than I'm used to but as soon as I opened the package and pulled out the Embellished Cotton Sweater I had chosen I could see why. The fabric was much softer than I was expecting and definitely felt luxurious. On the website it was difficult to tell what sort of knit it was but this is heavy on the cashmere and very light to the touch.

The metallic thread detailing over the shoulders is very pretty and takes the jumper from an every day basic to something a bit more special. I wanted to keep it quite casual though so I teamed it with my Simply Be oxblood jeggingsSimply Be wide fit black flats and my favourite ASOS punchout satchel handbag. My headscarf is a vintage chiffon one and glasses are Babs by London Retro

I'm wearing a size 24/26 in the jumper and it's spot on. As you can see it's not too baggy but still quite relaxed. Although the idea of wearing something from a luxury brand made me a bit twitchy (I have a wonderful habit of spilling things down myself...) there's no chance I'm saving this for best, it's far too snuggly and lovely to get dusty in a wardrobe! I will add though that if you are going to invest in this jumper you're going to need a good lint roller to hand! I noticed after a while that it left quite a bit of grey fluff on my jeggings but I popped it in the washing machine on a gentle wash and it's not as bad now. Definitely worth the rolling anyway!

Mrs D x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Plus Size Trick Or Treat

Whilst we generally avoided Halloween I tried to make a little effort and donned one of my favourite festive jumpers for the day. I spent the morning of Halloween getting my hair done which was such a treat. My lovely friend normally does my hair in exchange for me doing her nails but the poor thing has been really unwell lately and my hair was in need of some love so I braved a new salon. Plus, I'm starting to realise how beneficial self care is when you're recovering from any sort of trauma and spending the morning having a little pamper was really lovely. I also got a free deep conditioning treatment which left my hair feeling UH-mazing. The lovely lady even curled my hair which made me feel super fancy. So fancy infact, I felt compelled to actually put some make up on when I got home!

Mr D and I live in a village that has a strong community spirit which means a lot of trick of treating at Halloween. We couldn't face the idea of seeing lots of lovely little children dressing up when we should have had our own little pumpkin at home so we wanted to do something out of the house for as long as possible. As such we went to see Spectre at the cinema and then out for dinner at our favourite restaurant, The Smoke Pit. We actually ended up having a really enjoyable afternoon and evening. 

As we were sat in the cinema for three and a half hours (!) I wanted to be comfortable so my jumper and jeans choice was a good one. 

Plus size halloween jumper

Retro cat eye glasses

Vanilla rum milkshake, I love you.
Simply Be Trick Or Treat Jumper no longer available - similar Plus Size Christmas novelty jumpers here

Mrs D x