Also known as Cubby…

PSX_20150303_112711 Hello all! It’s been a long time since my last post in 2014, but believe me when I say ALOT has happened since then.

Last time we ‘spoke’ I had a couple of challenges ahead, but the one I was most excited (and most nervous about) was potentially changing the blog’s name to ‘Fat Girl Maternity Jeans’. Yes you read that correctly folks; in the time since I last posted we’ve welcomed a new member into the family; Baby FGSJ, aka Cubby. After what felt like forever, he finally arrived (early) safe and sound, 3 weeks ago. The past few weeks have been completely surreal and an absolute blur. I can’t believe how much he’s changed already and I can see my maternity leave flying by and coming to an end all too soon. In the meantime I look forward to sharing his escapades and my venture into motherhood with you all.

I partially held off on the blog front as shopping for maternity clothing was an absolute nightmare especially as no where stocked much in the way of maternity wear in branch, only online. I ended up living in leggings for the majority of it, with one pair of jeans from New Look (I totally recommend them for maternity wear; great range, great fit and available in store) and a couple of nice dresses from ASOS. With this in mind, I worried that the blog would just become my daily clothing rant and quite frankly, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

IMG_20150301_211815 The good news is that I have managed to squeeze my postnatal arse into the skinny jeans! DP were running their annual Feb fashion week sale so I decided to treat myself to some new ones. I picked up 2 pairs and threw out the packaging once the first pair were on as they were the exact same jeans right? Wrong. The second pair did not fit particularly well and unfortunately I can’t return them without the packaging and return slip. They will be appearing on eBay at some point over the weekend!

That’s all for now folks, I’m hoping to use at least some of my maternity leave to get this blog up back up to snuff with regular updates, but please bear with me as I’m sure Cubby has other ideas!

Warning! Exciting month ahead!

I’ve signed up to two challenges this month – Writing 101 with WordPress and The Summer Body Challenge at my gym.

The first one involves a new assignment each day that you write a post about ,but don’t have to publish. The idea is to increase your blogging habit and get you thinking outside the box for inspiration.

The second involves training at the gym 5 days a week throughout June to win a month’s free membership.

Bring it on!

The great summer fail…

As per usual for us Brits, summer snuck up on us like a kid with cold hands; not exactly unpleasant but definitely a shock. And once more, I was caught completely off guard with nothing to wear.

This is entirely my fault of course, as in a fit of excitement over winter I threw out the cropped jeans I had bought in previous years as they were several sizes too big. At least one pair, however, was on the small side of its size and still fit well. I was too ‘in the moment’ to think about this at the time however, and out they went.

A few weeks ago I did think ahead for my summer jollies and purchased a maxi dress or two, one online which I’m sending back, and one which, whilst lovely, is black and strapless and probably inappropriate for work. I had thought I’d wait until payday to get properly stuck in but put a few cheeky bids in on eBay for some more (cheap) cropped jeans. Unfortunately, unlike my last eBay cropped jean escapade, I was outbid in moments and they all appear to have accrued quite a high price tag since.

Then the heat struck. I couldn’t cope with the elevated temperature in my jeans and black trousers and I snapped (at poor husband) “take me shopping after work, I’m proper mafted in these” (this roughly translates as “please would you drive me to our local shopping centre darling, I’m rather hot in this attire”).

Like a bat out of hell I dived in and came home with some shorts (purely for the holiday I promise, I will not be out in public locally in those) and a few pairs of cropped jeans.

I started planning this post yesterday and thought I’d put up a few pictures of my lovely new outfits, maybe an OOTD, however, this morning we’ve awoken to grey clouds. The Met Office tells me it’s going to be rather chilly until tea time when temps should pick up, but then there’s a 60% chance it’ll piss it down by bed time. How rude. It’s also looking rather grim for the rest of the week.

Here’s to hoping it’ll pick up in time for the bank holiday!

P.S. You’ll be glad to hear my Satchel is recovering nicely!

1 year old and Satchel disaster!

FGSJ turned one this week, happy birthday/anniversary/blog-a-versary maybe? I’m not sure the technical term, but either way it’s a mile stone. As we head towards spring/summer once more, I’m hoping to dedicate some more time towards this blog once more!

I decided to treat myself to some fabulous Marvel Vans trainers this week as a pre-birthday treat, (this is becoming an annual pre-birthday trip to Schuh…) and instead walked away with my first ever pair of Converse Chuck Taylors! They’re burgundy and beautiful and I cannot wait to wear them out and about once the weather picks up!

As happy an occasion as this is, unfortunately disaster has struck…my regularly used bags live in a corner in the living room for easy access. I went there to fetch my trusty satchel, which has been there for roughly a week. Probably the longest it’s ever been out of use since its purchase. as I picked it up, a few drops of water rolled off. I was taken aback, unsure of where it had come from, when I noticed the smell of soaked leather…the water had literally drenched half of my bag to the point where there were white crystals forming on the inside!!! It would appear our new radiator has been leaking. Following care advice on the website, I’ve wiped it down with a slightly damp cloth soaked in mild soapy water ( just the crystallized parts) and dried off the worst with a towel. It suggests I leave it to dry naturally followed by some leather care product.

Any advice or product recommendations?

MIA…sorry! I’m back!

Since The SO Project I’ve been ‘missing in action’; life has been busy, and my computer has been slowly dying a death for a while. Christmas brought me a new one though, so hopefully I’ll be able to make posting a regular thing again.

So what have I been up to?

  1. Jeans – after managing to pull on those M&S jeans, 2 sizes smaller I felt a renewed sense of vigor and went on another jeans buying…I want to say mission, but that doesn’t sound quite extreme enough…how about vendetta? Yes. I went on a jeans buying vendetta and found myself some dark blue (‘indigo’ for you denim colour purists) Bailey Authentic Superstretch Skinny Jeans (I know, long ass name) courtesy of Dorothy Perkins. These have been the main staple of my autumn wardrobe as I pretty much live in them. Super comfy, stretchy, and look good. Perfect for work, home and going out. The main reason I went for skinny jeans ties in to my next item…
  2. Boots – I also managed to purchase a pair of mid-calf boots that fit!!! As like my hips, my feet are as wide as the Channel Tunnel I find it hard to find shoes to fit, never mind boots. Pull-on ones are a no no as typically I can’t get my wide feet into them in the first place. My calves are quite wide too so generally I struggle to do the zips up after. Enter New Look’s wide fit range! Bird and I were shopping, trying to find her some boots when she tried a pair on. Black, pull-on, with buckles and a low heel. The size 5 were too big for her and kept slipping, so whilst she went in search of a pair in size 4, I very cheekily tried them on. I couldn’t believe how comfortable they were, stylish, affordable and most importantly THEY ACTUALLY FIT! They go perfectly with my skinny jeans which i bought the day after purchasing these boots…
  3. Don’t buy cheap boots and wear them 24/7 – sadly, I bought the boots only 3 months ago and have had to chuck them. During my Christmas break I discovered the heels had cracked and they were falling apart inside. Granted, boots for that price were never going to last but I can’t help wondering if I’d worn them a bit less, (like not all the time) then it might have prolonged their life span. Never mind, it was fun while it lasted.
  4. Camera – after all the rudeness on the forums, I managed to find and purchase a new camera, so I’ve been indulging in some nice long walks with my new friend. Good times.

How has everyone been? Get anything exciting from Santa? Know anywhere good/cheap to buy wide fitting boots? Discuss!

Merry Christmas & all the best for 2014!

Dress how you damn well want!

Love this post from my good friend Pixie Anna and thought I’d share it with you lovely lot!

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Inspired by Retro Chick ‘s latest post (www.retrochick.co.uk) I was set to thinking about how people see others, in respect to their dress. I like to think of myself as pretty non judgmental when it comes to how people look but I am sure I make subconscious judgments about people based on their clothes. In my world view going outside of your own garden in your pyjamas is unacceptable. I have been known to dash to the bin in my PJs when I think the binmen might turn up while I’m dressing, but going to the shops/school run etc is just Not On. It only takes five minutes to wash your face, yank a brush through your hair and pull on jeans or joggers and a top. Where did the going out in PJs come from? It strikes me as pure laziness and not having respect for yourself. (To any…

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Starting Off: Eyeliner Guest post by Pixie Anna ft. Bird

The closest I come to being able to use eyeliner is Bourjois Liner Effect Mascara. I am long sighted amongst other eye problems and can’t see enough without my glasses on to apply it without poking myself in the eye  (I’ve had eye injuries this way) and I can’t wear contact lenses either. Unfortunately laser eye surgery is off the cards too. Luckily, I have fabulous friends who happen to know more than  a thing or two about flawless eye makeup.

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please give a warm welcome to Pixie Anna and Bird for this fabulous guest post on eyeliner!!!

Claire over and out!

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Eyeliner. It does what it says on the tin (or tube, or pot!) It defines and emphasizes your eyes. You can be subtle or bold, you can use whatever colours you can find, you can even use eye shadow applied with a damp brush if that’s what takes your fancy. Eyeliner can be difficult to apply at first, but with a bit of practice and experimenting with the different types available you will soon find your own way of doing it.

Most people start out with a kohl pencil. Pencils can vary hugely in quality, some are quite hard and others much softer. As the skin on your eyes is very delicate make sure you choose a softer pencil that won’t drag and irritate the skin. Try them on the back of your hand; if the skin pulls then it is too hard and will hurt your eyelid. I like Boots No.7 metallic eyes pencils. They are nice and soft and come with a blender on the other end so if your line is a bit wobbly you can go for a softer smudged look instead! Make sure you keep the point fairly sharp or you will end up with a very thick line (unless that is what you are aiming for, in which case sharpen it less often.) You can buy retractable eye pencils, which never need sharpening. I have a Collection 2000 eye definer which is as good as any. They seem to be getting few and far between, although they may be worth looking out for if you don’t like pencils but don’t feel brave enough for liquid or gel liners.

If you’re aiming for that 50’s Marilyn Monroe look a pen eyeliner is your best bet. As the name suggest these are like a felt tip pen and the fine tip of the pen can be used to dot in any gaps which you may have after application. This goes for any type of eyeliner – at first you may have small gaps which do look better filled in.

Liquid eyeliners are very popular and come in a rainbow of colours and finishes. I find they are the trickiest to apply, as they can sometimes be quite wet and runny (as you would expect from something with ‘liquid’ in the name!) but they can be fun as these are the ones that manufacturers usually produce in all kinds of glittery finishes and I cannot resist a bit of sparkle! I have two glittery ones from ELF cosmetics, a silver one and a copper one. I also have a Rimmel liquid liner in black but I rarely use it as I’m allergic to Rimmel eye products. It does give a good depth of colour and I would recommend it, especially if you’re on a budget. ELF are fab if you’re on a budget too, although you do have to factor in postage costs.

My favourite type of eyeliner, one which I use almost daily, is the type that comes in a pot and you apply with a brush. They are called gel or cream eyeliners. I would recommend buying a very fine eyeliner brush – mine is from ELF and has a bend at the end which makes it much easier to apply your liner in a fine line. As with all make up it is easy to build up but more difficult to remove if you use too much!

When applying liner some people find pulling the eyelid taut with your other hand helps with accuracy. As it goes against everything your brain tells you when putting a sharp object near to your eye it can be hard

to apply close to your lash line, hence the tiny line of skin between eyeliner and lashes which a lot of people get. I find that trying to draw your eyeliner line onto the roots of your lashes helps to place the line where it should be. If you have a wobble and there is a gap or two simply fill the gap in with your brush/pencil/pen, or use a clean eye shadow applicator or a cotton wool bud to smudge the line.

lusheyeliner

To line the lower lids or not? Lining the lower lids in a dark colour, such as black, looks very dramatic but it will make the eyes look smaller. If you have eyes that are on the small side bear this in mind.

It is always worth going into your favourite make up shop and trying all the different kinds of eyeliner to find one which you prefer. There are some wonderful colours and finishes available which are always fun to experiment with. Lush have recently brought out a range of make up, including eyeliner. I have plans to get my hot sticky hands on their gold eyeliner – just in time for Christmas!!Using a white or nude eye pencil will make the eyes look bigger and will make the eye look more defined without a heavy eyeliner look if you don’t want lots of dark liner.

Bird recommends….

My go to product has to be Rimmel exaggerate eye pencil in noir. It’s easy to apply, doesn’t pull the skin and feels light an smooth. It has a smudgey thing on the end should you want to go for a smokey look. This also pulls off to reveal a built in pencil sharpener. How handy! It’s not too pricey either coming in under £5. Unlike other eyeliners, this does not irritate my eyes, especially useful when applying to the lower lid too. Watery eyes = panda eyes = not a good look (unless of course you’re dressing up as a panda, whatever floats your boat…)

If you want to make more of a statement and opt for liquid liner then I would recommend Gosh Long lasting eyeliner pen in carbon black. A little pricier but still under £10. A word of warning: this stuff dries quickly. Use only if you have a steady hand!

Personally, I find eye pencils easier to apply than liquid liner. I also find it easier to be creative with pencils (doing flicks etc.)

Erm, anywho, I hope this has been of some use! Blog entries are not my forte, I leave that to Claire!

Thanks ladies!!! Next week Claire returns for Eye shadow!

Starting Off: Mascara

Week 6 how did that happen?! This week, if you hadn’t already guessed is all about mascara.

Mascara is used to lengthen and define your eyelashes, which in turn gives your eyes more definition and makes them pop/stand out. Typically it comes in a long(ish) tube with a wand applicator inside attached to the cap. It comes in different shades, typically black or brown or even blue. One of the ‘in trends’ of the summer has been vibrant neon shades and as a result, mascara has been available in green, pink, yellow etc. I even remember in my younger years sporting clear glittery mascara (I suspect they just put glitter glue in the tube…).

Mascara also comes in millions of varieties offering many many different ‘enhancing’ effects, abilities and super powers (I may be exaggerating at this point). Despite what their magical abilities may profess to be, essentially they offer either a natural look, volume enhancing or lengthening and come in normal or waterproof flavours.

Mascara is a must if you are using full coverage foundation, as you will look a tad washed out and pastey without using products like mascara and blusher to add back a bit of colour and bring out your features. It’s also a good choice to use if you want to go minimalistic with your makeup or even naked (your face I mean…I don’t think it matters how much mascara you use if you actually go naked…people will still notice the nudity); a bit of concealer, mascara and a bit o’ lipbalm or gloss and you’re good to go.

To use mascara, you simply apply using the wand from the base of the lashes and brish upwards. Some people prefer to place the wand on the base of their lashes and blink. use as many layers as you think you need. Now a lot of people like to use mascara on both their top and bottom lashes. Personally, I prefer not to apply to the bottom lashes as I don’t think it suits me, and also as I find it hard not to blink before it dries and find thebottom lashes coated regardless.

I myself have quite long, black lashes (not that I’m showing off) so tend not to go for too much in the way of volumising or lengthening (these tend to make my eye lashes stick to my glasses, which is not attractive…and no I’m not exaggerating here, I often have little speckles of black on my lenses!) and do tend to use black. I did use some brown I got in a No 7 set when I was a teenager and it did create a nice natural, down to earth sort of look. These days I prefer to show off what I have (oh my).

As I’ve said before, I’m not really one for too much eye makeup. I remember going to the Lush VIP event for their emotional brilliance launch, and being told about their mascara. It has no preservatives so does have a shelf life of 3 months, The lovely shop assistant said, “but who has mascara for more than 3 months anyway?!” I rather sheepishly said, “erm…me?” Despite this, I appear to have acquired quite a collection of mascaras! This is a small selection of them.

mascaras

Now the only one of these I really use is Bourjois liner effect. The wand is double sided with thinner, shorter bristles on one side and bigger ones on the other. The idea is to use the smaller side first and then do a second layer with the bigger. I personally find that this gives better results than the others I own and is ideal as I don’t (or rather can’t) use eye liner. Most (well all) of the other mascara’s I own came as part of gift sets I either bought or received or as gifts with purchase and as a result aren’t really my own choice. I have, however tried them all and whilst I can’t say any of them are bad, they just aren’t my number one choice.

Other recommended mascaras

The fabulous Pixie Anna came to my rescue this week and has this to say:

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara – a great one for people who haven’t really used mascara before or prefer a natural look. It gives good coverage without clumping, looks natural and is fairly cheap. (FGSJ: I used to use this one myself and agree, it’s great for a natural look).

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara – more expensive but does what it says on the tin (or tube, I should say!) It increases both length and volume, again without clumping as long as you put your second coat on while the first coat is still a bit wet.

L’Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara – I found this a bit flaky, but I have very sensitive eyes so it may not be so bad for those with ‘normal’ eyes. I also found that it clumped sometimes but that might just be me. It did lengthen my lashes a lot, which I don’t really need but I do like a dramatic eye!

Eyelash brushes – yes, you can buy eyebrow/eyelash brushes and combs but I find the best eyelash brush is an old mascara wand. Simply wash it clean and brush through lashes between coats of mascara. Much simpler than faffing on with those pathetic little combs you buy. (FGSJ: Never thought of that before! Cracking idea!)

Don’t forget to follow the chat on Twitter by using #theSOproject

Next week: Eyeliner. The jury is still out as to whether I will be posting next week. I personally don’t (or like I said, can’t) use eyeliner, but I have several good friends who all do and I’m hoping one of them may helpfully write a guest post (please!!!!)

Jeans…the same old brand new you!

No I’m not reliving my A1 fetish (the band not the road), just revisiting my usual gusto for new jeans and experiencing deja vu!

My summer dress wearing fetish is pretty much over, and Autumn setting in means I want more versatile lower body wear with which to rock my Vans and the epically amazing Dr Marten’s which I have barely worn. I convinced myself that once autumn came around the DMs would come out more, as they are patent leather and probably my best waterproof shoes. They are also more attractive than wellies (well more attractive than wellies on me with my fat calves and small but incredibly wide feet).

I bought 2 pairs of those jeans in the Marks & Spencer sale for £9 a pair, allegedly Khaki versions of the red jeans (but I would have described them more as a very dark forest green) and very lovely they are too. However, if you recall, I bought them a size small (my size were sold out) in the hopes of slimming into them. I was very excited upon receiving them to find I could get them on, just not fastened up, so not long to wait!

I have since failed to lose much more weight (only a small amount), and decided to see exactly how far I had to go by trying them on again. I pulled them on and put some elbow grease in to the zipper…which was surprisingly easy to get up. The button however, was another story. I did have to breathe in, but low and behold they fit!!! They were a bit tight around the middle, but after wearing them round the house they seem to have stretched. Woop!!

As lovely as the green jeans are, they aren’t going to go with all of my tops so I could do with something more neutral (as they looked on the M&S website). They do come in black as well, but they were sold out in my size. So once again I am renewing my hunt for jeans.

In my excitement, I decided to purchase a new pair of the Dorothy Perkins skinny jeans in a smaller size as my blue ones no longer even stay up with a belt, and DP was having a 30% off pop up event. This excitement however, was a tad premature…they don’t even make it up my thighs. It’s amazing the huge size difference – one size in it and the bigger pair won’t stay up, and the smaller pair can’t get up….Can’t Fit, Won’t Fit, start of a new show?

Starting off: Blusher

Wow, this is mega late! I’ve been super busy at work and a bit ill recently which has delayed my blogging significantly. So massive apologies fellow SO Project bloggers!!

I really wanted to start this weeks post off with a clip of Sarah Millican’s makeup shopping story. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clip on the interwebs so it’ll just be me again.

Blusher is used to add colour back in to the cheeks; to give you a nice healthy rosy cheek glow, and to stop you looking pasty and like one of the Cullens’. I’ve not really bothered with blusher in the past as I’ve got very sensitive skin, which often results in me having very red cheeks. As I don’t like to wear full cover foundation very often, I tend to avoid blusher too.

However, last year after having discovered Estee Lauder double wear, I decided I clearly needed blusher to stop me looking so pasty faced. I researched for hours  before finding me some good advice on which shades would go well with my skin tone. This is what I found: for pale skin, lighter shades are better. Pinks & peaches or pinky peaches are good, but AVOID anything more coral coloured, it will be too dark or harsh. They are much more suited to those with a darker skin tone.

With this in mind, I went on a sopping mission and  found myself this:

Boujois shade 37: Rose Pompom.

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So to apply blusher, you simply brush on to the cheek bone and blend outwards towards your hairline; simples! If I ever feel like I’ve put to much on, I try and blend over with the makeup sponge I used to apply my foundation, normally it has small amount on non absorbed liquid on there and simply helps to tone it down. I’m sure there are better ways to do this, but that’s just my routine.

So that’s it, not much else to say really. Don’t apply too much, make sure you pick the right shade for your skin. I’m not an expert on that unfortunately.

For anymore information and application techniques please check out: The Makeup Chair and Goss Makeup Artist this is where I get all my videos from and they are full of wonderful tips and techniques. Don’t forget to subscribe while you are there!

Next week: Mascara

I will be enlisting the help of my good friend Bird for the next couple of weeks as having awful eyesight means I can’t apply eye makeup too well without my glasses on and I can’t wear contacts or get laser eye surgery, so I don’t tend to buy much or spend much money on it. She is a wealth of knowledge to me in this department.