H&M Cigarette Pants

‘My style is not that big. I wear heels, tight pants, and I wear diamonds’ – Donatella Versace

I’m the type of person who will chuck myself out of a plane on my honeymoon, and try the spiciest thing on a menu just to try and show off however when it comes to fashion I am anything but brave.

I’m apple-bottomed at best; fat-arsed would be a more accurate way to describe it, and as such, have always stuck to bootcut style things in a vein hope to try and balance out my massive hips and thighs. I was working in the centre of town recently and after what felt like a particularly trying meeting, I decided I needed a little pick me up and treat myself to some new clothes. I’m not in town often these days and usually rely on my local Tesco or ebay for my wardrobe which means I have an abundance of tops, but only staple bottoms that I’ve had for years and wear again and again.

My reasons for being drawn to these cigarette pants in H&M were 3 fold. 1. They came is loads of gorgeous colours and patterns 2. They were only £12.99 and 3. They were called ‘slacks’ on the label. Who doesn’t want to own a legitimate pair of slacks?!

Against my better judgement, and mainly because of the price and the fact I could do with some new black trousers I tried them on. I was surprised at how good they looked. As mentioned, a tapered leg isn’t something I would ever consider because I genuinely believe they, mixed with my gargantuan thighs, would make my legs looks like a carrot. However just because I thought they looked good, doesn’t really mean jack (I also once thought red parachute pants and yellow crocs – not together I hasten to add – looked good). So I did what any other girl in this situation would do; I sent it to my besties Whatsapp group for further opinion.


With the thumbs up from my own personal Gok’s and a crisp £20 in my purse I took the plunge. And I have to say I’ve gotten loads of compliments since I’ve worn them. I even threw caution to the wind a bought a patterned pair, which for me, is so trendy it’s practically unheard of for me!

Here’s a hack for you hack fans; if you sign up for H&Ms newsletter, you get free delivery and 25% off one item off your first order under that address; so bearing in mind I only wanted to order one thing, and am never in town or the metro centre these days, I got my second pair, delivered home for £9.74 – sweet!

It just goes to show really that sometimes it pays to go out of your fashion comfort zone once and a while, and I’m planning on getting a red pair and a khaki pair when I get paid at the end of the month; I just hope I’m not writing in 5 years time about that awful time I was obsessed with cigarette pants! #fashionvictim

Is there anything you’ve been cautious of buying but actually ended up loving?

What I Wore – Christmas 2016

‘For Christmas, I do love wearing cute dresses with tights and a pair of boots’ – Ashley Benson

I’m not someone who gets dressed up all that often. Whilst we have a very healthy social life, it’s usually low key drinks at the local pub or grabbing some food somewhere between bars in town. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve worn a dress this year.

December however if a little different. I’m fortunate that in my job I straddle different teams (oo err) therefore I get invited to a few different work nights out. Add that to Christmas Jumper day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and NYE, and you’ve got a minefield of outfit choices. I’m desperately trying to save for my trip to Vegas with Meagan next year so my usual tradition of buying a whole load of new togs was out of the question. I had the extra challenge of making do with what I already have. That’s fine though, I’d made a vow at the beginning of the year to stop being so frivolous with my money when it comes to buying clothes and needed to get worn what I already have. Even if that means, horror or horrors, wearing something twice #shockedfaceemoji.

So here’s what I manged to cobble together. I say cobble together like it was an easy whimsicle decision. Obviously I’d tried on pretty much everything I’ve ever owned before settling on these. Being a chronic over thinker is truly exhausting sometimes…

Work night out number 1 – Thursday 15th December 2016, dinner at Mantra Thai


This wasn’t at all what I’d planned to wear, I’d brought a different top to get changed into, but happened to end up having the busiest of busy days at work and was getting a lift into town. I was too rushed to get have time to get changed. I figured I’d just get changed in the pub but once everyone started arriving and we all got chatting and drinking that didn’t happen. Not the ideal outfit i’ll admit but it was just a low key dinner and drinks, plus it was freezing, so actually didn’t matter in the end

Work night out number 2 – Friday 16th December 2016, dinner at Prima followed by drinks


All all my nights out this was the ‘big one’ the one where all the lasses out their party frocks on and dance into the wee small hours. Basically, apart from if i’m going to a wedding, this is the one night a year I dress like a girl. I’d planned on wearing a little black dress from Teatro initially, but although it looked lovely once on, I wouldn’t be able to eat, drink, breathe in or out in it so decided on this Ben de Lisi black leather skirt i got in the Debenhams sale 2 years ago but never worn, an old trusty top from River Island and the statement necklace that goes with everything from H&M (borrowed from my lovely friend Carrie).

Work night out number 3 – Monday 19th December 2016 – Lunch at Cafe 21


Gotta love a work toilet selfie…

Technically not a night out, more an afternoon, but on this occasion I didn’t roll home until 11pm from being out from 1pm so definitely went into night out territory. Again, a more casual one so was set on just wearing some black jeggings and my new bargainous Aldo boots i’d recently gotten from ebay. Skinny jeans (these particular ones are from Matalan) are a new concept for me. I’d previous shied away from them for fear of them making my massive thighs look like carrots but with the right top and boots think I just about manage to pull them off. I don’t have a lot of longer tops to wear with them at the moment so borrowed this one (from New Look) from my equally lovely friend Emma which I love so much I’m considering offering to buy it off her!

Christmas Day – Sunday 25th December 2016


Long gone are the days where I get a dolled up in a fancy dress for Christmas Day. For me it’s all about O tidings of comfort and stretch. For the last few years Dave and I (at my insistence) have donned hilarious festive t-shirts. This year they were courtesy of our local Matalan, which we’ve discovered if you wait until Christmas Eve, everything’s in the sale and you can pick up a witty Christmas top for £3 each (if you can be bothered to nose dive into the sale rails of course).

Boxing Day – Monday 26th December 2016


Again, I’m not one for getting dressed up when we’re just hanging around the house in our little Christmas bubble however we do normally go round to my inlaws to spend some time with out niece and nephew and have a post Christmas buffet so my new fleecy pjs are usually a little too casual. I’d found this polar bear jumper in the Matalan sale (£8) and fit the bill perfectly. Although technically i’d say it was a winter jumper rather than a Christmas jumper, I imagine it will also be pulled out next December for Christmas jumper day at work!

New Years Eve – Saturday 31st December 2016

For the last 5 years we’ve either stayed in and had people round or gone to someone else’s house so was always pleased to hide my festive chub under a baggy jumper. This year thought we jumped at the chance when Steph & Chris invited us out to see in the New Year at Wylam Brewery with them. It did mean however having to but a little more effort in. Since i’m not sure how long my new obsession with jeggings will last I hauled them out with this top from H&M (£12.99 – the only new thing I’ve bought all December!) which hide christmas pudding tummy. I’d also gotten this sequin jacket (Vero Moda) from ebay for 99p last winter and never really worn it before so thought it would be the perfect sparkle injection!

Also, isn’t it interesting how much fuller my face gets throughout December? I like to call that The Prosecco Effect!

Me & My Designer Dress

‘Any opportunity to get into fashion and find a beautiful dress, I’m very definitely excited about that’ – Emilia Clarke

In the grand scheme of things, I spend very little money on clothes. If my husband reads this he will undoubtedly call me a steaming hotpot of lies, however what I mean by that is, I buy clothes often, I just don’t spend a lot of money on them. To illustrate, here’s a visual representation of the clothes I own:



Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m some kind of cheapskate who has to buy second hand clothes all the time, I just change my mind (and my waistline) quicker than Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends and I like to have choice. The idea of a capsule wardrobe quite frankly makes me have a panic attack.

Taking all that into consideration, a few weeks ago I found myself in town after a particularly difficult job interview where I’d received a bit of a grilling and I was feeling very sorry for myself. As I had the rest of the day off and a small amount of birthday money left I decided to do a bit of sales shopping. I found myself in TK Maxx, not somewhere I go all that often but I felt I’d exhausted the rails of Primark, H&M and my local Tesco recently so decided to have a browse, I was actually looking for a denim shirt.

In among all the denim shirts that I couldn’t afford, like a magpie I was drawn to a navy blue sequin dress. My god it was beautiful, I couldn’t resist but have a closer look. My heart nearly stopped beating when I saw it was Kate Spade (a designer my friend Carrie has won round to after giving me a Kate Spade purse she didn’t want any more) Then my heart definitely stopped beating when I saw it was my size (the only one of its kind in the whole shop I might add, and it was in my size!). And AND who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?!

I resuscitated myself again by looking at the price, yeah, there was no way I could afford that however for some reason it stayed in my hand all the way to the dressing room. I’d convinced myself that once I’d tried it on I would see how ill-fitting it was and skip on down the street to Primark where I belong. Of course it fit like a glove, in fact it fit like I was always meant to have it on. Crap.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. There was only one person who could be me the verbal smack around the mouth I needed and tell me to grow up and stop being so materialistic. My mum. This is the whatsapp exchange that followed:

Double crap. So you know what I did? I bought the bloody dress. And you know what else? I’m pleased I did because I never treat myself and I felt amazing when I put that dress on. I know it’s completely vain and completely senseless and I probably will only get a couple of wears out of it at best but I don’t care.  Because I love my new Kate Spade dress. Perhaps that interview shook something in me, perhaps I was having some kind of mental breakdown or perhaps I just fancied doing some reckless for a change.

I think sometimes it feels good to do something out of character to test yourself to see what you’re made of. The interview had pulled me out of my comfort zone so while I was flailing around in the ether of weakness I reckoned I may as well go big or go home.

So I went big. Then I went home. Giving my obligatory visit to Primark a miss on this occasion.

Totally awesome tote bags

‘Everybody, when you go through the checkout line after you get your groceries and they say, ‘Paper or plastic?’ We should be saying, ‘Neither one.’ We should have our own cloth bags’ – Woody Harrelson


Can you believe it’s been a year now since the carrier bag charge was introduced in shops and supermarkets across the UK? I fought it for a long time, thinking ‘what’s another 5p on top of my shopping anyway and in fact I find it ironic the as soon as they introduced the charge, they also improved the quality of the bags, nice to know that 5p is being spent wisely, not wasted on, you know the environment and stuff.

Then there’s Primark who have tried to get around it by offering paper bags. Whilst they may be biodegradable and made from recycled toilet paper, they’re not much good in the rainy North East. More than once I’ve had to rescue my £4 pyjamas from the soggy pavement of Northumberland street after the smallest of downpours.

So i deceided to bite the bullet and invest in  some of the funky canvas bags that are now so readily available since the carrier bag charge was introduced. Plus Dave takes great pleasure in referring to me as his ‘Bag for Life’ in an oh so hilarious cockney rhyming slang kind of way, so if i’m going to be referred to as one, I’m making sure I own some cool ones:

The Body Shop Foundation Bag for Life – £5

The Body Shop have always been environmentally conscious. Back when I was a tweenager and stocking up on my White Musk shower gel they were probably the only brand on the market that could categorically say they didn’t test on animals. I love a cheesy empowering statement and this speaks to my creative side, because sometimes  shopping in Tesco on a rainy monday night is exactly when we need reminding to follow our passions.

Rad.co Canvas Shopper – £12.90


Rad.co has been one of my favourite online shops over the last year years, i have to stop myself every month buying all their hip hop inspired arty t-shirts and although they seem to have taken a left down Crass Alley recently, this is still my favourite canvas bag of the lot of them. it’s a little smaller than the other two but does perfectly to carry a change of clothes when I’m out straight from work on a Friday. And all my colleague love the opportunity to quip that I shouldn’t be bringing my emotional baggage to work with me, har dee har.

Funny Geordie Tote Bag for Life – £8


One for the Geordies or the Geordies at heart, i would giggle to myself every time i saw this in the window of Upside Down, which is a tiny little Geordie themed gift shop opposite Prima Italian restaurant on Dean Street. They do a huge range in funny gifts, i can’t wait until one of my friends is pregnant so i can buy them a ‘holy shit you’re up the duff’ greetings card. Definitely somewhere wroth a visit in the run up to Christmas. you can also order most of their gifts online.


Primark Haul – July 2016

‘Never use the word “cheap”. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes’ – Karl Largerfeld

Since i changed jobs in 2012 and no longer work in the centre of town, I rarely get the opportunity to browse around the sales – much to the delight of my bank balance I must admit. Go are the days when clothes shops had sales twice a year, there seems to be bargains to be had year round if you look hard enough for them and I miss spending my lunch hour searching for a new top to wear at the weekend.

This month i had a rare afternoon off work and since no one else was around to take me off to the pub (my usual favourite flexi day past time) I decided to hit up Primarni in Newcastle to see what I could be tempted with.

I’ve written before about how I feel Primark has been in slow decline quality wise over the last few years so I was expecting the age old girl problem of having money to spend and not being able to find a damn thing you like. Thankfully the shopping gods seemed to have been smiling down on me that afternoon and I managed to come away with this little lot for £25…

Navy embellished top – £3

I don’t wear nearly enough navy despite it suiting my skin tone more than black. This will go perfectly with some light denim cutoffs I recently customised from a full length pair and I love how an embellished neckline means you don’t have to worry about jewellery. The cut out back is a bit low but i’m planning on pinning it shut to avoid any underwear on show!

Burgundy gathered top – £3


Both the colour and style of this suits my shape and skin tone well, I like how it’s slightly gathered at the bottom so looks slightly bubble hemmed and longer at the back covering my massive badonkadonk.

Burgundy casual sweatshirt – £5


I’m like a magpie for burgundy and maroon things at the moment. I saw the lovely Chloe from New Girl in Toon had got her hands on a super cute coffee inspired jumper from Primark which I fell in love with but sadly it’s sold out. This was the next best thing, it’s pretty thick and snuggy so not really ideal for this humid spell we’ve been having recently but I’m really looking forward to weaing it when we go to Norway in September!

Active burnout gym top – £2

I saw a girl wear this i the gym recently and almost asked her where she got it from but bottled out. When I saw it on my way out of the shop I was so excited, then imagine my bliss when I saw it was reduced to £2! It was worth waiting in the 15 minute queue all over again! I’m not actually a fan wearing white at the gym so I’ll probably wear this casually on a Sunday with some cropped leggings or black jeans. The batwing style and open back make it way too nice for the sweaty gym anyway!

Plain crew neck t-shirts in lemon and black – £2.30 each
Cutout tribal statement necklace – £2
Triangle statement necklace – £2


Never underestimate the power of a plain t-shirt and a statement necklace, its become my go to look when I want to look nice with minimal effort. These t-shirts are actually for the mens section but I kind them to be better quality and a better fit then what Primark offer in the womans section despite being cheaper as well. I find if I choose a small mans slim fit top it’s the perfect size 12/14 and then roll the sleeves up slightly to make it look more feminine.

My friend Carrie is the queen of the statement necklace (which is handy when you want something new to wear but can’t afford anything so she opens up her wardrobe to you!). I loved these two which I think will go with pretty much anything, and when you see similar styles going for almost £20 in Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, snapping them up for only £2 each was a real bargain

Brow bar sunglasses – £3

These are the only full priced item I bought in the end! Because my eyes are blue they’re really sensitive to the light, and even wear sunglasses in the dead of winter to protect them from natural brightness. As such I go through sunglasses like socks so always on the look out for different styles to add to my collection. Although the frame is mostly plastic I love the metal brow bar and look forward to the 2 weeks i’ll have them in my possession before inevitably scratching or sitting on them!

This is definitely the most successful haul I’ve had in a while, it’s rare I have the patience to wade through the racks of crap to find something I like, particularly in Primark where it can all become a bit of a jumble sale. As Primark is so cheap ever at full price you can get some real, real steals if you’re prepared to roll your sleeves up, sharpen your elbows and dive in.

Two weeks away with JUST hand luggage?

‘I get ideas about what’s essential when packing my suitcase’ – Diane von Furstenberg

I’ve learnt through being with the same man for over 12 years that there are many differences between men and women. The toilet seat argument (which I’m pretty much dates back to biblical times when Joseph wouldn’t close the lid on his chamber pot – it drove Mary mental) being the obvious one, along with the peeing standing up issue, a recent trip to Sherwood Forest put paid to how handy that would have been. But i also thing that the approach to packing for a holiday brings up some interesting differences between men and women.

I, probably like most women am a chronic over packer and the reason is simple. I like choice. All Dave has to worry about is which combination of shorts and t-shirt he’s going to wear. I have to think about whether it’s a dress or a skirt and top, or jeans, or shorts occasion, have I shaved my legs? How fat am I feeling? What underwear do I have with me? I feel I need to be prepared for any mood I may be in, which often means for a 2 week holiday bringing wit me approximately 1 billion outfits.

Last year when we went to Greece for 2 weeks I discovered the holy grail of holiday hair in salt spray, and made the brave decision to go away for 2 weeks without any heat products. The results were better than I could have hoped for and whats more, it saved me a shit-tonne of space. So when our next holiday to my Uncle’s Villa in Portugal rolled around, I wondered whether it would be in fact possible to pack even lighter, so light in fact that I didn’t have to take hold luggage at all. I mean, thanks to Sleazyjet and their £40 charge for 1 piece of hold luggage and the fact that we only paid a little more than that for the actual flight, seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the theory out.

So what did i pack?

Well, you could argue that I was cheating ever so slightly being that we’re staying at a private residence nestled away in the hills of the Algarve therefore my need for anything too sophis for the night time was almost zero, so it was 2 pairs of joggers and 7 t-shirts to be worn on rotation (and washed if necessary – another bonus of a private villa). During the day i’m pretty much just in my bikini, with last nights t-shirt to throw on just in case the pool cleaner happens to turn up the second I decide to sunbathe topless for the first time ever (that happened in 2014).

W did have a few days out planned, there’s a quad biking adventure thingymabob nearby as well as a Vineyard which does tours and tastings (now you’re talking) so something a little more respectable was needed. I had some cropped linen trousers i got from Primark eons ago (back when Primark actually made clothes that last) and some floaty strappy tops to go with (that covered the ‘am i feeling fat’ worries of above) which all rolled up into practically nothing.  I also love the idea of a playsuit, 1 whole outfit in one garment but I couldn’t really find one that suited me all that well. The closest i got was this from TK Maxx which has split opinion between friends and family as to it’s flatterability.


So that was my clothes pretty much sorted; joggers, t-shirts, bikinis, couple of suitable wine drinking, sorry quad biking outfits, couple of bras and enough knicks to last the 2 weeks. Job boxed.

What I struggled a little more with was make up and toiletries. Sticking to the 100ml limit imposed on hand luggage is a real bind when you’re picky about what you use on your hair and face. My hair is very blonde and I need toner on it at least once a week or it will go yellow, especially in the sun so that had to come. I’m also very fair and very freckly so factor 30 had to come.  I’m ALSO very vain so on the days we were going to be venturing out of the villa and there was a chance my picture may be taken (god I sound like I think I’m Beyonce) so I need my make up. Luckily, as mentioned a few weeks ago, I had a great little trail size bottle of Lancome foundation (with spf 15 in) so that was a handy hand luggage friendly little nugget, as was some travel size Benefit make up I gt from Patricia for my birthday last year. All in all  reckon I styled it out fine but I would have loved to have brought more if I could.


Of course there’s also all the other little things you take on holiday that aren’t clothes or toiletries. Things like your kindle, your handbag (damn those cheap airlines and their 1 item of hand baggage rule!) your laptop, various chargers and your Davina McCall 5 Week Fit DVD – ok perhaps that’s just me but when you’re married to someone who runs ultramarathons and gets excited about running on holiday, you need to do something, just for self satisfaction if nothing else!

So, I learnt that it is possible to pack for a 2 week holiday with only just hand luggage, i think if you’re smart about it you’d be surprised how much you can actually fit into a cabin bag. Of course it helps when you don’t have to dress up every evening and take loads of night time clothes, and we have had to stock up on some toiletries at the supermarket we weren’t able to bring over, but not to the tune of £40. So in the battle of Newmans vs Easyjet pricing? Newmans win this round!




New Activewear for 2016

The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them’ – Lee Haney

So I know social media has been awash with the whole ‘new year, new me’ stuff that get’s rehashed every year but the truth is, starting a new year is a good time to make all those changes or do all those things you said you always would.

In 2005 I joined weight watchers soon realised the more I exercised, the more I could eat so quickly joined the gym. I fast became a cross trainer addict, so much so that in 2010 I bought my own so I could work out at home. And I did for a long time. The problem with that was the cross trainer I had at home was getting old and rickety and I didn’t feel I was getting a good work out anymore, so I rejoined the gym.

When it comes to gym fashion, I’ve always been a joggers and t-shirt kind of girl; in fact when I worked out at home I was a joggers and sports bra kind of girl (my poor neighbours!). Of course now I’m back exercising in public again it would be unfair to subject my prosecco tummy to the great and good of Newcastle upon Tyne so I’ve used this new year as an opportunity to overhaul my gym wardrobe. If I’m going to look like a hot, pink, sweaty mess after 45 minutes on the crosstrainer, I may as well look cute doing it!

For me this year it’s all about the slogan t-shirt. After the festive over indulgence I need every bit of motivation I can get so that means cheesy words of wisdom emblazoned on my chest. On my bottom half, I’ve never been a fan of leggings, they don;t do my thunderous thighs much justice so I tend to lean towards cropped joggers – they’re a little harder to find but way more flattering than squeezing myself into spandex!

So here’s what I’ve found to get me through that painful first month back in the gym:


‘Till you drop’ graphic tee – Forever 21 £11


‘Days Off’ Muscle Tee – Forever 21 £9


‘Yes You Can’ tee – Forever 21 (sold out online)


‘Don’t Give Up’ t-shirt -George @ Asda £6