Beauty, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, Jewellery, Joanie clothing, Nars, New Look, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, summer, Topshop, tropical, what i wore

Crete Cutie

What I did on my holidays, by Christina McMc aged 34 3/4

I desperately needed a holiday so I packed my bags, grabbed Mr. McMc and headed to Crete for a week. I swam in the sea, I sunbathed on the beach, I read many many awesome books while sitting on a balcony in my bikini, drinking icy cold beer and stuffing my face with crisps (which goes some way towards explaining the interesting pattern of suntan/sunburn on my body.) I made friends with a wide variety of cats, ate many delicious things and drank far too much Raki. It was utterly blissful and I was left with a golden glow (and a serious bout of Raki-induced indigestion) which is only just beginning to fade.

Crete full body (2)jpg

JUMPSUIT: New Look Curve

BELT: Joanie (taken from one of their dresses, so can’t be purchased as a separate item)

EARRINGS: Topshop

BAG: YSL (vintage)

SHOES: New Look (old)

One of my favourite elements of being on holiday is dressing up to go to dinner. Even if I’m just going to a kebab shop at the end of the road, I’ll have great fun in rummaging through my suitcase attempting to find the most appropriate outfit. I wore this gorgeous ruffled New Look jumpsuit out for a walk along the beach, followed by drinking cocktails while watching Scotland win the football and a plate of utterly divine stuffed courgette flowers.

Crete full body (1)

I’ve got a few issues with New Look (I often feel as though they don’t treat their plus sized customers with the respect or the fashion forward clothing that they deserve), but it would churlish of me not to give props to this ace jumpsuit. Obnoxiously large ruffles are very much my jam this season and I’ll even forgive the one on this garment for being caught in a gust of wind and repeatedly smacking me in the face while I was just trying to have a walk and get on with my business. On the plus side, it did allow me to conveniently and discreetly blot my lipstick. So it’s not all bad.

Crete selfie

Speaking of make-up, I tried to keep it simple while I was away mainly because I was terrified of it all sweating off my face in one huge oil slick. Most nights, I went out looking like this. A swish of NARs’s Sugarland on the eyelids, a smudge of Charlotte Tilbury’s Velvet Underground on the lips and a swoop of Pat McGrath highlighter on the cheeks. Followed by the most important product of all, a huge spray of Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray. Well, I was on holiday after all.

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#girlboss, Charlotte Tilbury, Freelancing, Sponsored post

(Girl) Bossing It

Albert - I love my boss

Doesn’t time fly? On Friday, it will have been a whole year since I was made redundant from my old job and over nine months since I set up my little social media agency, Cattington. While it’s not for everyone, I’m adamant that making the move towards becoming my own boss is the best decision I’ve ever made. I love the freedom of being able to choose my own clients, make my own hours and work from bed as and when the situation requires (which I anticipate will be ‘every goddamn day’ now the temperature has dropped.) On a more practical level, working for myself has provided me with so much flexibility about when and where I can work – something which has proved to be incredibly useful considering all the curveballs life has thrown my way in 2017.

However, if there’s one thing I hate it’s invoicing. It is the bane of my life and, from speaking to other freelancers, I know I’m not alone here. It’s one of those necessary evils – after all, you can’t get paid if you don’t send an invoice. But the process of invoicing can be hugely time consuming. Time which you often don’t have if you’re focusing on growing your business. And that’s before we get to the soul crushing, stress inducing rigmarole of chasing late payments. It can be an exhausting and emotionally gruelling process which frequently distracts you from the important things, like pitching for work, doing the work and deciding which cafe you’re going to be working in has the best cake.

Which is where Albert comes in. Albert is a free invoicing app which has been developed for freelancers by freelancers. I’ve been using Albert for a few weeks now and I’ve been really impressed by how easy it is to use. It’s simple yet powerful, including all the functionality you need to look professional while providing you with easy access to your businesses finances. Best of all, it can all be done through your phone which is perfect if – like me – your phone is your most vital piece of business paraphernalia.

One of my favourite features is the functionality to send out branded Cattington invoices while on the go and preview them before they’re sent over to the client. As someone who is never in the same place (or even the same city) for very long and always trying to juggle 101 tasks at once, this is a lifesaver for me. The same applies to their status timeline which provides you with the flexibility to change dates and backdate invoices. Best of all, it allows you to include payment terms, such as payment due dates which is something which every freelancer should include in their invoices (if you don’t know what these are – and what your rights are regarding late payments and charging interest – this is a super useful guide) as well as a status timeline showing you when – and if – your invoice has been read by the client. Once you’ve invoiced the client, Albert also allows you to download everything into a handy .CSV spreadsheet which you can email to yourself, your accountant or even your Dad.

I could go on at great length about Albert, but I’d suggest that you do your own legwork, take a look at their website and read  some of their 5* reviews on the app store. It’s definitely one of the most intuitive freelance invoicing apps I’ve used and I feel like I’ve used practically all of them. Best of all, it’s totally free meaning that you don’t have to spend stupid amounts of money on getting your business’s finances into shape.

Girlboss

Obligatory picture of me looking all professional, like. Lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G in ‘Velvet Underground’.

Loathe as I am to use the term #girlboss (particularly with the whole ‘being a 34 year old woman’ thing), I also don’t think that there’s anything cute in pretending that you’re too scatterbrained and creative to focus on your finances. Even if you think it’s boring, these are the things which will help your business – and yourself – thrive. Working for yourself can be hard, lonely and exhausting at times and anything which makes the process that little bit easier is always a win in my book. Apps like Albert help me stop fretting about money and start focusing on the things I’m good at. Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back to work…

Albert is currently available for iPhone and can be downloaded via the app store. This is a sponsored post, but all of my opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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ASOS Curve, Beauty, coats, fat acceptance, lipstick, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, metallics, Navabi, personal style, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Tarte Cosmetics, what i wear to work, what i wore, Work outfit, Work wear

The Brightest Bird in Bootle

Arched Eyebrow x navabi tag

When Bethany announced that she was launching her very own collection of clothing for navabi, I – like most of the plus sized world – did a little scream of delight. In the interests of full disclosure, Bethany is a good friend of mine. But even if she wasn’t, I’ve long been a fan of her distinctive style, and I knew instinctively that the pieces she created would be bright, bold and beautifully cut. When the collection was launched, it didn’t disappoint, providing a capsule wardrobe of simple, elegant clothes in an array of gorgeous colours.

One of the things I love most about this collection is its versatility. You could easily throw on the tapered red trousers with a simple white t-shirt to wear to a meeting, or do some serious colour blocking by teaming with it with the (gorgeous) pussy bow pink shirt. It’s a middle finger raised to the idea that plus sized women shouldn’t dress in bright colours or don’t want to wear tailored items. As someone whose personal style has veered away from the super femme vintage styles that seem to dominate plus sized fashion as I’ve grown older, it feels – and looks – like something that the industry really needs right now.

Somehow I managed to exercise some control and limited myself to three pieces – the hot pink blazer, the (immensely Instagrammable) gingham shirt and the tailored red trousers. All of the pieces will make an appearance on this blog over the next few weeks, but so far, my favourite of them all is the blazer, which I wore on a trip to Manchester this weekend. Popping it on made me feel like I was channelling Pat Butcher, David Byrne (in his big suit) and Don Johnson from Miami Vice all at once.

Pink jacket black t-shirt (full body)

JACKET: Arched Eyebrow x navabi

T-SHIRT: ASOS Curve

JEANS: Marks and Spencer

SHOES: Marks and Spencer

EARRINGS: Mango (old)

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas (old)

Now, lets be honest. I will never receive plaudits for my ‘understated, effortless style.’ Everything about me feels designed to be obnoxiously large and loud, from my hair to my dulcet Mancunian tones. But throwing this jacket on made me feel even more vibrant, like I was made to stand out from the crowd. Everyone who saw it, loved it (in fact, my Dad loved it so much that he even tried it on for himself.) It’s designed to be worn with everything from casual skinny jeans to a tailored peg leg trouser and is sure to become a staple in my wardrobe (particularly when worn with my favourite gold mules.)

Selfie pink jacket

While I’m here, allow me to introduce you to my new favourite lip colour, ‘Fly’ by Tarte Cosmetics. Tarte are an American brand who I always see getting a lot of love on American beauty blogs and podcasts, not least because they’re vegan and cruelty free. I picked two of their quick dry matte lip paints when I was in Sephora in Boston and I love the pair of them. While they’re not quite as long lasting as my beloved Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips, the colours are out of this world. ‘Fly’ is a wonderfully vivid shade of fuchsia which I can see working on all sorts of skin tones.

After some extensive internet research (read: ‘doing a Google’), I’ve discovered that UK residents can purchase most of Tarte’s range via QVC. Seeing as I can’t be trusted around cosmetics, I’ll probably be doing a big splurge on their range soon (I’ve heard great things about their Maracuja Oil) and will report back. And if you know of anywhere else in the UK where you can purchase Tarte’s range, please let me know in the comments!

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Accessories, Bbloggers, Beauty, Beauty Bakerie, Beauty bloggers, fat acceptance, fat positivity, Glossier, Joanie clothing, lipstick, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, summer, what i wore, wiwt

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday Today Tomorrow

Two outfit posts from me in a week! You lucky, lucky people.

I’m currently coasting on the wave of happiness (and exhaustion) caused by the best weekend I’ve had in ages. It’s amazing how much of a tonic it can be to drink wine with friends, play with adorable dogs, dance to techno in sweaty clubs while watching hooded women dance with pyramids (long story) and then sit around drinking pints in dive bars with your favourite person in the world.

I’m also still buzzing over my new hairdo. It’s wild just how much more confident I feel with turquoise hair, like it’s opened up aspects of my face I didn’t know existed. I’ve experienced some major issues with my body image recently and while they haven’t been entirely eradicated, I feel like I’m becoming more capable of navigating the world with my best – and bluest – foot forward.

Yesterday Today Tomorrow (2)

TOP: Joanie Clothing

SKIRT: Joanie Clothing

EARRINGS: Topshop

NECKLACE: Little Moose

SHOES: Converse (via Office)

I’m also really digging this cute and casual outfit from Joanie. I’m always slightly wary of wearing anything with vertical stripes due to my gigantic boobs causing an effect which is akin to the cover of Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division. But this one was just too adorable to pass on, particularly when paired with their scallop denim skirt. As with everything I’ve bought from Joanie so far, I had to size up with both of these items. The top is quite form fitting, meaning it rides up over my tummy (I’m a fairly standard size 20 with a bit of a pot belly), therefore, I feel it works much better when tucked into something like a skirt or jeans. I finished the look with my beloved gold Converse – the comfiest (and coolest) pair of shoes I’ve ever worn. Seriously, I’ll probably end up being buried in these.

Yesterday Today Tomorrow selfie

My favourite piece of jewellery at the moment has to be this delightfully quirky face necklace by Little Moose. Like all of their stuff, it’s super cool, super unique and always makes me smile when I wear it. Add a swoosh of Glossier’s Boy Brow (they’re coming to the UK very soon and I cannot wait) and Beauty Bakerie’s (amazing) Cranberry Stiletto liquid lipstick and it’s impossible not to feel utterly charming.

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Accessories, dresses, fashion, fat acceptance, fat positivity, Marks and Spencer, Monki, Oliver Bonas, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, personal style, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, plus sized summer dresses, scarves, summer, summer dresses, what i wore

Feeling Myself

Things are still bad. But they are getting better.

I went to my wonderful hairdressers on Tuesday with the intention of getting my roots done. Seven and a half (!!) hours later, I walked out with bright turquoise hair. It is one of most daring, frivolous things I’ve ever done and I absolutely adore it. After a long year which hasn’t had many fun moments in it, doing something completely and utterly ridiculous just for myself feels remarkably liberating. It also happens to really suit me. Which helps.

Tropical

I’ve had a number of people ask me where I bought this (glorious) shirt dress from since posting this selfie. While it looks as though it should come from somewhere like Monki, it’s actually from Marks and Spencer. The print is bold and vibrant, the fit is just on the right side of generous and you’ll always get a compliment when you’re wearing it. It’s still in stock at the moment and worth every single penny of its £39.50 price tag.

Blue hair 1)

HEAD SCARF: Karen Mabon

EARRINGS: Topshop

DRESS: Monki

JACKET: ASOS Curve (old)

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas

SANDALS: New Look

Speaking of Monki, I am 100% in love with this black t-shirt dress I purchased from them recently. I love really nice, simple, well made, just-on-the-right-side-of-baggy dresses, particularly during the summer when all you want to wear is something which circulates a nice cooling breeze around your intimate parts. I was inspired to get this after seeing it on the always radiant Bethany and listening to an illuminating discussion about sack dresses on the most recent episode of Call Your Girlfriend and wore it to go and see William Basinski when he played at the Manchester International Festival last night. While reapplying my lipstick in the bathroom, I caught sight of myself in the full length mirror and – for the first time in ages – felt 100% comfortable with the way I looked. Which is something I haven’t been able to say for a while.

Blue hair 2)

 

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Accessories, Earrings, H&M, Jewellery, Lists, Milk Tooth Ldn, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, Skinny Dip, wiwt, Wolf & Moon, Work wear, Zara

Summer Earrings: Go Big or Go Home

Like all the best fictional female characters – Alexis Colby, Bet Lynch and Pat Butcher, to name just a few – I am a huge fan of huge earrings. And by huge, I mean huge. My heart belongs to gigantic, bedazzled door knockers that could probably take someone’s eye out if I swung my head around too quickly. I don’t feel properly put together if I’m not wearing (at the very least) a massive pair of hoops. As you can probably guess, I got into trouble a lot at high school for wearing earrings which were deemed ‘inappropriate for the school’s dress code’ (and that’s before we get to the glittery lipstick and brightly dyed hair which almost got me suspended.)

Thankfully, the theme for summer 2017’s accessories appears to be ‘Go Big or Go Home’ (and if you can stick some tassels on it, even better.) The high street is awash in brightly coloured, dangly, bedazzled ear furniture, resplendent with pom poms, pearls and palm leaves. Naturally, I am in heaven. I already own the fancy little numbers from Zara and Skinny Dip and intend to buy the rest just as soon, although I’m torn between whether I should purchase the tasseled ones from Topshop or the sublime snake statement earrings from Milk Tooth Ldn first. I can see myself rocking Wolf & Moon‘s remarkably elegant Curve earrings at a number of meetings over the next few months, and H&M‘s pair of eyes and moon’s are just the thing for any aspiring witch attending her first summer solstice.

Those are my faves. Which earrings are you currently lusting after? Let me know in the comments!

  1. Faux Pearl Earrings with Fringe – Zara (£12.99)
  2. Curve Earrings – Wolf & Moon (£65.00)
  3. Tassel Drop Earrings – Topshop (£12.50)
  4. Eye & Moon Earrings – H&M (£6.99)
  5. Gold Athalia Palm Hoop Earrings – Skinny Dip (£14.00)
  6. Askew Snakes Statement Earrings – Milk Tooth Ldn (£31.99)
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and other stories, fashion, Joanie clothing, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, metallics, Monki, office wear, ootd, summer, tropical, Work outfit

Treat yo’self: April Pay Day edition

Let me get real for a moment here readers. April was a gold plated turd of a month. Work was rough, my Mum broke her hip quite badly before Easter, I got stranded (ish) in London after a fire at Euston station and – to top it all off – I was treated to some chronic insomnia. It felt like I spent most of the month crying from exhaustion, stress, or both. Part of me is blaming it on Mercury in retrograde, and another part is just blaming it on a year which seems to be far too bloody keen on seeing how far it can push me before I finally snap (to which I say, ‘do your worst, bitch.’)

So, allow me to indulge in some good old fashioned capitalism in the form of payday retail therapy. Fashion brands have embraced spring big time, which means lots of pastels, pleats, flounces and frills (arguably Spring/Summer is the only season where we’ll let them off for their obsession with cold shoulders.) You don’t have to look far at the moment to find some really unique, fun, plus sized items. I’m particularly smitten with the mules shown above in that perfect shade of parma violet. They’d look fantastic when paired with a super cute nautical themed t-shirt from Joanie (just one piece in a sailor themed collection which manages to be cute without veering into the costumey) and a metallic pleated skirt from Marks and Spencer – an item which I could see myself flouncing around in on both an office floor and a dance floor. Just add this great 80s-esque Laura Slater designed leather clutch bag from Kin at John Lewis and Bob’s your drag queen.

Then there’s this kimono from Monki which appears to be the Twitter-cool-girl uniform item of choice at the moment. I’ve seen a remarkable amount of babes wearing it (and looking amazing while doing so) which means I’ll be forced to pick my own up soon – after all, I do hate to be left out of trends. And besides, just look at that print! Imagine how many selfies you could take wearing it while posing on a sandy beach next to a palm tree. Or, just in your bedroom standing next to a cheese plant if you’re on a budget.

Suede Cross Strap Mules (£65.00) – And Other Stories

Frankie French Nautical Tee (£18.00) – Joanie

Laura Slater Leather Clutch Bag (£55.20) Kin by John Lewis

Metallic Pleated A-Line Skirt (£49.50) – Marks and Spencer

Long Caftan Dress (£30.00) – Monki

 

 

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