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!

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.

Forums and social networking: the good, the bad and the (I’m pretty sure they are) ugly

This may or may not come as a bit of a shock to those who know me, but I have very little confidence and possibly even less self esteem. I can often be heard to say “I hate people” but in fact I only really ‘hate’ people (in general; you are all lovely individually…okay, most of you are) because people are my biggest phobia.

I live in constant fear of new social situations; am I being polite enough, would it be best to make a joke, should I not say anything at all? When I’m out and about if someone I don’t know starts talking to me about the weather or road works or anything in general I tend to panic and have a full on physical reaction – racing pulse, shallow breathing, shaking and nausea.

Despite all of this, lately I’ve been attempting to branch out in order to reach a wider audience and also to seek advice, and talk to like minded people. So far, most of the experience has been positive. I’ve chatted to some very lovely people on Twitter through the SO project, and (hopefully) made some new friends. Unfortunately, I’ve also hit the downside pretty quickly too. Allow me to fill you in with a LONG (possibly dull) story…

I’ve always been interested in photography; I can’t go anywhere or to any kind of event without a camera, whether that be my phone or my point and shoot. It makes a good tool for blogging (as you other bloggers will know) and I also think I’m pretty good at it – composing shots and the like. I am however, a complete amateur and have recently decided I want to upgrade my camera to either a bridge or a DSLR in an attempt to learn the art of photography properly.

I went about it in what I felt was a sensible way; asked a few friends (by a few, I mean one) and once I knew what I was after and my budget, I looked at some forums. Several others seemed to be asking for similar advice to myself and I noticed a lot of responses were a bit harsh, such as there not being enough detail about budget or what the camera would be for. So, I took it upon myself to write out a fairly lengthy post, stipulating what I needed, what my budget was, my skill level (zero) etc. I thought I’d hit all the important ‘marks’; oh how I was wrong…

I mainly got cocky replies, very few being helpful. These included pointing out that bridge cameras are not DSLRs (I had noticed thank you, especially after specifying I’d prefer a bridge to a DSLR) as well as several cameras that I should buy instead that are out of my stipulated price range.  Thanks for nothing! I spent more time defending my position than receiving advice on what to buy.

I chose forums and specifically the boards aimed at beginners so that I might get patient advice from others who would appreciate I am a complete amateur and, considering the others on the forum should (in theory) also be amateurs (yes some a lot more advanced non-professionals, but still) I thought there would be some patience there. I expected some queries maybe asking for a few more specifics; am I prepared to buy second hand etc and a few suggestions of what features I should/should not be concerned with.

I went to bed on Saturday night incredibly upset, with what little confidence I still possessed battered and bruised. My husband, who is possibly one of the kindest and most patient people I know (especially with regard to my many ‘quirks’) told me not to take it to heart and try again in morning. Sure enough, when I awoke on Sunday morning, there in my inbox was a message reply posted on one of the forums. Some kind soul had taken my post for exactly what it was and offered me some constructive advice.

It was on the back of this that I then posted again in the forums and finally saw some pleasantries appear out of the woodwork. I then (in a shockingly brave move by me) decided, on the spur of the moment to join that evening’s LBloggers’ chat on Twitter. It’s (not really) ironic in that this week’s topic was positive vs negative posts, considering I’d already started writing this. There was a good range of opinion put forward and everyone was really nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the chat and spoke to some lovely people.

Roll on this morning then…I decided to put forward the idea of buying a second hand entry level DSLR, which is within my budget. On the first of the forums in question, everyone seemed to think it would be better than any bridge camera I would choose to buy. On the second however, someone suggested I should skip entry level and go for something more advanced, which I can’t afford. They have renamed my budget as ‘my self-imposed limit’. That self imposed limit, folks, is called my bank balance! Then finally, on the third, I got this:

Well, it’s not a bridge camera nor will you find it within your set budget.

Perhaps it would be better not wasting people’s time

Well **** you then!

I am incredibly frustrated, I used to enjoy posting on message boards with like minded people ‘back in the day’, but someone always comes along and ruins the fun, which is why I stopped. This was like a cold, bitter reminder.

It is a shame, as I’ve been a bit more adventurous by joining The SO project and participating in the Twitter chats on a Tuesday night, (and the LBloggers chat as well now on Sunday). This luckily for me has been a mainly positive experience (granted, I could probably be a bit more active in the chat rather than cowering overwhelmed as the links and posts roll in; but I find myself with a million tabs open, trying to read through and comment on as many as possible) and everyone has been lovely and pleasant to chat to, sharing ideas and suggesting new products to try. It was off the back of this new found confidence that I decided to try seeking help in forums. I mistakenly thought the creatures that inhabit them would be just as kind and friendly.

Has anyone else experienced this? Have you had some disastrous encounters on a forum or Twitter or other social network? Do you know anything about cameras? Please comment below!

In the mean time, I’m still very much looking forward to the SO project chat tomorrow night despite me not posting this week and to the next LBloggers’ chat next Sunday!

Starting off: The Introduction #theSOproject

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, feel free to check me out @fgsjblog) may have noticed that I recently posted this:

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The Starting off Project is the brainchild of Steph from Steph’s Inside Voice (http://stephsinsidevoice.blogspot.co.uk/) and the aim is for a group of bloggers (now quite a large group with well over 100 of us involved) to each post at exactly the same time over the next 10 weeks an introduction to a particular beauty product, including experiences, recommended products, how we each use it etc, to try and create a plethora of blogging knowledge for those just ‘starting off’ with their beauty regime.

I am, admittedly a bit of a dunce when it comes to using a lot of products due to a mixture of very sensitive skin, allergies, my awful eyesight (it is not good being long sighted when trying to apply certain products with your glasses off) and in all honesty, pure laziness. But that’s kind of why I really wanted to take this amazing opportunity and get involved,  I know it’s because of this that I will have a different perspective to many if not most of the other bloggers involved in the project.

The first post will be about skin care, and all posts go live Tuesdays at 6pm. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Back to school shopping…

It’s that time of year again, and as the holidays draw to an end new clothing and supplies must be purchased. So once again, I am after jeans and trousers that will look good, be the right size and preferably the right length.

Dorothy Perkins is having an online denim sale with up to 30% off, which sounded good to me.  I was all prepared to put in an order until I discovered that our local store for collection is temporarily closed during a term of refurbishment. This would mean paying full whack for delivery, and that would mean the discount would essentially not be worth anything.

I popped along to Asda, who unfortunately also let me down. Their selection, whilst quite extensive, is still much to be desired. Their trousers are also lacking in my size, as it would appear that every other woman with my figure have gotten there before me. I must however give Asda some big, and I mean BIG props for adding short and extra short lengths to their bigger sizes of both jeans and trousers. Unless they were in fact sold out in larger sizes, size 20 appeared to be the biggest I could find in extra short length. This is a massive leap forward though for us shorties and also extra shorties who are extra large or extra small.

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M&S have some nice looking jeans in their sale, but unfortunately are also sold out in my size – at least in short length. I am however tempted to buy them in a size smaller in the hope of slimming into them in the near future.

Until then though chaps, I’m still looking for back to work attire as those perfect jeans are still proving elusive…