the cosiest jumper in the world

I’m absolutely delighted to see an abundance of chenille on the high street as we run in to the coldest months of the year. Ever since I was small I’ve loved the look and feel of it and wear it instantly makes me feel snug and secure. On a recent and long overdue shopping trip with my Mum I fell in love with THE most perfect chenille jumper of them all- from the colour to the fit it ticked all the right boxes and it just had to come home with me- Mum clearly felt the same way as she pounced upon and purchased the pink version within seconds!

Jumper: Pull and Bear (here) | Skirt: Monki (on sale at ASOS) | Boots: Banana Republic

How great is this bright Teal shade? At £19.99 it’s also one of the most affordable chenille jumpers I’ve seen on my travels with the added bonus that it isn’t cropped- call me old fashioned but I just don’t get cropped jumpers…the whole point is to be warm and snuggly in them, clearly I am just showing my age here though as the damn things are everywhere.

Rant over, the skirt is also a recent purchase as I loved the entire cosmic print range Monki bought out. I already picked up the dress so when I saw the skirt reduced to £16.50 in the ASOS sale I couldn’t help myself.

It’s so nice to be able to shop again- I’m pretty much back to working full time hours now, most of the time and actually having some spare cash after over a year of having to watch every single penny is so nice. It was also amazing to have an afternoon of un-interrupted mother and daughter time, since we both took on new job roles we very rarely get to spend much time together so we appreciate it all the more when we do get the chance.

It’s been a while since I did an outfit post, life has genuinely been so busy and this has reflected in the type of content I’ve churned out on my blog. I’m really hoping that now I’ve got in to a routine and I’m finally started to feel a bit more settled and confident in my changing body shape and size that I can get back to sharing a bit more of my personal style in amongst the likely plethora of gift guides and lifestyle posts.

If there’s anything you’d like to see more of on the blog or anything you’d like me to answer then feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section below. I was going to some kind of “life lately” update post but I’m not all that sure how interesting that would be, and I might just save it for an end of the year recap given that before we know it we’ll be entering the start of 2018 (what a startling realisation that is!)

Anyone else feeling the chenille love?

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Baring all with Quiz Clothing

2017 has been the first year in a considerable while where I haven’t had a wedding or other special event to go to. I still love a cheeky browse of occasion dresses though, especially as one of my cousins got engaged at the weekend so there is definitely at least one wedding on the horizon.

I was recently contacted by Quiz Clothing who matched me with the dreamiest, most stunning dress- and whilst it might be a bit OTT for a wedding I’m very much hoping that I can find some cause to wear this other than prancing around the garden.

Dress c/o Quiz Clothing (here) | Shoes: Mary Portas at Clarks (old)

If I were shopping for a dress then nude wouldn’t be a colour I’d usually consider, I’d long ago dismissed it as a bit…naked looking if I’m honest and not something that would suit me.
Popping this sequin adorned maxi dress on though and I’m converted. For the time it took to get these photos I felt like a complete princess- I wish it was acceptable to dress like this every day!

The process of getting these photos did stir up a few conflicting feelings though. As I said, this dress really does make me feel like a princess but at the same time it clings, it sticks to curves I’m only just starting to see appear. It hammers home just how much my body has changed in the last few months and of course that is a bittersweet moment.

My main issue right now is that I’m only about 50 percent of the way through the weight gain process, but in my mind, thanks to the twisted grasp of an eating disorder I’m already there and beyond. Putting on an outfit like this can really play havoc with that mindset and it’s actually taken a huge amount of courage to post these photos due to how I see them vs. how I’m assured the rest of the world (well, my readers) will see them.

And still I persist. Onwards and onwards to a life where I don’t care that my arms aren’t stick like, that my stomach isn’t concave and my face is fuller. In the past I’ve always had in the back of my mind that if I don’t feel good at my target weight I can always go back- as warped as that sounds. This time I don’t have that. This time it’s final and I refuse to entertain ever going backwards again. It’s making this whole journey that much more difficult whilst I’m going through it- but the future? MY future? That excites me in ways I can’t even begin to explain.

Back in to the world of fashion & shopping now and I am absolutely loving some of the new arrivals on the Quiz Clothing website. I’ve always advocated them on the blog but right now there is literally SO much I want- if you’re looking for affordable and on trend wardrobe updates then do pop along and check them out…as you can see, they’re particularly good for a fancy dress or two.

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In the Pink

The high street is a very tempting place right now. Everywhere I turn there are pieces that find themselves added to my ever-growing wish list and it’s a great source of frustration to me that I can’t afford the all out spending spree that I am so desperately craving.

A few weeks ago on my birthday I went over to Bath for the day with my Mum, Grandad and Brother and we found ourselves in Primark. I was trying my best to avert my eyes from all of the new season arrivals but there was one dress that I saw and couldn’t forget no matter how hard I tried. In the end Mum kindly stepped in and treated me (30th birthday perks!) and I’ve been waiting impatiently for the weather to be good enough to wear it.

Dress: Primark (and only £10) | Shoes: Long Tall Sally (gorgeous alternative)

Pink isn’t usually a colour I go for when it comes to clothing, although given that it’s supposed to be one of THE colours of the season I guess it’s going to get harder to avoid. There was something just so appealing about this dress, it’s girlier than most things I own and probably a bit dressier as well which makes it perfect for date nights and my ever growing social life.

It also has great potential to be dressed up further with some super high heels and jewellery, or taken in the other direction and worn as a casual piece with converse and a denim jacket. I’m still on the mission for the perfect denim jacket so if anyone has any suggestions then please do let me know.

For someone who has suddenly got a lot more happening in her life I seem to have very little to say for myself at the moment. I’m busier and happier than I have been for a very long, things are starting to move in the right direction in all areas of my life and at some point I’ll probably sit down and do a more in depth update on my recovery journey. In the mean time I’m taking things one day at a time and mostly loving every second. I didn’t dare believe it when people said to me that 2017 would be my year, after such a horrendous 2016. Five months in and I’m starting to accept that maybe they were right. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but things are certainly on the up and better than I ever dared hope.

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Learning to Silence my Inner Critic

Initially I wasn’t going to use the set of photos below in a blog post. They aren’t quite right and don’t show the outfit as I wanted it to be shown. But it got me thinking about something that’s been running along in the background of my mind for a while now and so actually, from something imperfect I’m able to write an altogether different to what I planned blog post.

Dress and Tee: Monki | Converse from Schuh

So basically these photos triggered a whole big train of thought about my long-standing battle with perfectionism. I didn’t set any resolutions at the start of 2017 but it was always a goal of mine to try to get more control over my issues with, well, control and making everything “just right”. It’s something that has governed my life for as long as I can remember and has been an undercurrent to my anorexia since the word go. Ever since I started this journey of recovery back in the Summer last year I knew that to get any degree of success I would eventually have to learn to live more in the moment and less in a micro-managed bubble, and now, almost a year on I’ve realised that actually I am less ruled by it than I can ever recall being.

Now, I don’t have a secret to my success. It’s been a long battle and a lot of it is still very much trial and error. There are a couple of things that I have found really helpful though- the first of that being a course of CBT which saw me learn how to break my self-imposed rules (like actually being on time for things instead of constantly ten minutes early, or to accept a spontaneous invitation). I’m awaiting a start date for a more intense course which will delve more in to the root causes but even the basics gave me the tools I needed to start to break free.

The second thing that made a massive difference was learning the art of mindfulness. It’s always been something I was wary and dismissive of, but having been persuaded to give it a go by various people I decided I had nothing to lose and started to dedicate 5-10 minutes a day to it. I initially went with the Headspace and Calm apps but also made the purchase of “A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled” by Ruby Wax which proved to be a witty, relatable account of her own struggles as well as containing a six week guided programme which has helped me no end.

Of course it’s not for everyone but I thought it worth sharing these thoughts as they spill out of my mind. As ever with me partly so my blog can serve as a “record of achievement”, but also in the hope that even one person might read this and find something that could help against their own demons.

And the result of all this? Well, it’s only recently that the rewards have become evident. From challenging my social anxieties and attending a Blog Club Brunch in Bristol to attending the Grandaddy gig the other week. Spontaneous plans with friends have been followed through instead of a “yes, I’ll do it” followed shortly by a swift “no, actually I can’t today”. I’ve also found myself in the early days of a new relationship, in which I could not be happier (and that was a true case of spontaneous actions paying off) and I’m now able to relax, read, listen to music or watch a film without a constant state of panic and dread that I might have forgotten to do something vital.

I’ve literally just sat here and banged out this post in the last 45 minutes without any real intention of doing so- that’s definitely something I couldn’t have done six months ago! But with that comes the risk that it’s a whole lot of nonsense, utter drivel and full of poor grammar and punctuation mistakes…but you know what? That’s ok. Real life isn’t perfect and it doesn’t need to be perfect to be wonderful, and for me, that is the greatest lesson of them all.

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The Details

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this outfit. It’s one of those that isn’t typical “Laura” style and yet it’s one I really liked. As I’m still working very much part time at the moment I’ve really been embracing the casual approach when I’m at home- it’s gone from being a bit of can’t be bothered kind of thing to something that I can relax and enjoy.

Tee: Daisy Street | Jeans: Noisy May at Very | Shoes: New Look

It’s a bit of an embroidery detail overload here but I’m rollin’ with it. The jeans were a bit of an impulse buy to be honest, not my standard skinnies by any stretch of the imagination. I was suckered in by the “sorry I’m late I didn’t want to come” slogan (despite I’m never late for anything, ever!) and when they arrived I was quite taken with the laid back fit. It’s good to change things up from time to time right?

I pretty much lived in this Daisy Street tee last year, on rotation with the three others I own and now the warmer weather is here I don’t see that changing any time soon. I’ve already declared my love of slogan tees so I won’t ramble on but they really can’t be beat.

The shoes were another impulse buy. Enamoured with the floral embroidery and pretty pink colour I couldn’t resist placing a sneaky New Look order a few weeks ago despite my preference for either ankle boots of converse. I’m determined to get the wear out of these though, they are just so pretty (and comfortable) and pretty perfect to bridge that gap between boots season and sandal season.

Ok, so essentially this is a post about nothing much in particular. I just wanted to share the outfit without really having anything to say for myself. I’m still in that re-adjustment period of being back in work, settling in to routine and building up a pretty nice life outside of it too. I’ll try and bring something more structured to the table next time and in the mean time…what have you been buying lately?

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