Thursday, 2 July 2015

Lifestyle: Introducing Jess and the Bandits.

I've got a confession to make. I love country music. Since my early teens in fact. I spent many an hour listening to Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks and Travis Tritt to name just a few. To some of my UK readers you'll probably be going, who? And believe me as a teenager in a northern town in the mid 90s, it wasn't something you'd admit to either! 

Things have changed a bit since then and that's probably down to the popularity of TV show Nashville (oh my god I love it). So when I was contacted by a chap representing a group called Jess and the Bandits I was really intrigued and even more so because Jess herself has been chosen as an ambassador for the Evans #StyleHasNoSize campaign. A Plus Size Country chick? I'm on board! 

I sent some questions through to Jess who was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer them!

Being a complete country nerd, I spent my teenage years listening to likes of Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood, who were your musical influences growing up?

Those are a lot of the same ones I listened to as well! In fact it was Trisha Yearwood, Reba, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston who I was constantly singing along to. I actually saw Trisha in concert with Garth Brooks last weekend and she was AMAZING! I still want to be like her when I grow up. 

If you could do a duet with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?

Oh that’s a tough one. I think it would be amazing to do a duet with Frank Sinatra. He’s a legend after all and one of the most iconic voices that we’ve ever had.

For those that haven't heard your music yet, how would you describe it?

I would definitely say it is more contemporary country rather than traditional. You can hear the influences of pop and rock through out the songs which is what I think makes it easy for people that don’t “like country music” to enjoy. Also at the same time still catering to the country music fans. 

Do you think the country music scene in comparison to the pop world is less image driven?

Absolutely…not! I wish this weren’t the case but if you look at a lot of the newer female country singers, the formula seems to be the same in terms of image. That being said, the public is less image driven based on what they want from the artists and bands they are fans of. Isn’t that always the case though? We don’t really care what the singer looks like, we just want to hear good music. The music industry on the other hand is completely superficial. With country music, I think the song is a lot more important at the end of the day, than the look. Pop music is the opposite. 

What three words would you use to describe your style?

Comfortable, Classy and Sexy! Yes it is possible to be comfortable and look amazing at the same time haha. 

What advice would you give your 13 year old self?

Stop beating yourself up and if you go on another diet I’m going to knock you out! Weight is going to be a battle for you, don ’t let it define you. You’ll see that people will love you anyway. Just be you and be confident. Everything else will fall into place.

It takes guts to get up on stage and perform in front of a crowd, do you have any tips on feeling confident?

For me, that is when I feel my most confident. When you are getting in front of people or doing something out of your comfort zone, you have to get out of your head. All of the worries that you have about yourself, no one is cares. So even if you aren’t feeling extremely confident, my motto has always been, fake it till you make it! Believe it or not, that will start to flow over into who you really are and before you know it, you won’t be faking it anymore!

You're performing at this years British Plus Size Awards, what can we expect from a Jess and the Bandits performance?

We are so excited for this! Our hope is to inspire people with our music and make sure people have fun. We definitely aren’t those types of performers who just stand around and sing. We like to put on a show, so that’s the plan! 

As an ambassador for the Evans #StyleHasNoSize campaign do you have any style tips for the plus size ladies out there?

Get outside of the box! I am so guilty of this myself but I’m also working to get out of my comfort zone and wear things I wouldn’t normally wear. Find the things about yourself and focus on those. If you have great legs, show them! Wear a fabulous pair of shorts, wedges and a kimono top and work that look. There will always be things we don’t like, so style around it. I don’t like my legs very much at all so I have really got into the whole midi skirt trend. Find some great skirts and throw a crop top with it. This will also give you the chance to experiment with crop tops without going TOO far out of your comfort zone.

A huge thank you to Jess for answering my questions! As part of Jess' collaboration with Evans, you could star in the video for Jess and the Bandits next single! To be in with a chance, Jessica wants entrants to share their own personal body confidence mantra by writing it on a piece of paper, taking a snap of themselves with it and sharing at OR using the hashtag #EvansStyleMantra @evansclothing @JessTheBandits on Twitter or Instagram.

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**Post in collaboration with Jess and the Bandits**

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Lifestyle: Feeling Official with FastPrint

Those of you who follow me on social media will know that a couple of weeks ago I launched my freelance website. It's really an extension of the work I've done with the blog, along with the freelance writing and blogging I already do, I have developed a workshop on blogging for businesses and I offer services like social media health checks and 1:1 blogging advice. 

So when the guys at FastPrint got in touch to see if I'd like some business cards, it really couldn't have come at a better time! The blog ones I had desperately needed updating and I really needed some for the new website. 

Michael kindly drew up a quick design for the blog cards and I used a site called canva to design my freelance ones. I sent the designs through and within two days they arrived. 

I am so pleased with them! The quality is great and they turned out exactly as I'd hoped. Thank you to FastPrint for a super easy and fast service! Don't forget to check out their site for all your printing needs, they have a great product range the service is fantastic. 

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**These cards were sent to me for the purposes of review**

Don't forget there's still time to enter my fab giveaway! 

For your chance to win a piece from luxury plus size brand Elliott Jane & Persse, click on the pic below! 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Style: Plus Size Summer Style with Gemma Collins.

Enjoying those rays are we? I know I am! You might remember back in February I blogged the most fantastic plus size dress from the Gemma Collins collection, which will forever be known as the boob dress. It is, by the way, still hanging in my wardrobe awaiting a nice occasion *looks at husband with a glare*. 

Moving on... Now the summer range is live on the site I have a completely different but equally gorgeous piece to share with you. Today I'm wearing the gorgeous 'Morocco" kaftan

This is just so lovely. The fabric is soft to the touch and lightweight. The detail to the neckline is so cool and the contrasting prints just make it really stand out. 

I'm wearing the 24/26, I thought it would be better to go a bit bigger in this style rather than it being too small, but I think I would have been fine with a 20/22. That's the only thing with dual sizing, when you're a 22/24 like me, you fall in the middle of the two brackets, so I tend to size up rather than down. I'd rather something was a bit looser than all clingy and tight. 

This is going to get so much wear over what's left of the summer. It's just so damn pretty. Another hit for me! Head to the site and check out the rest of the plus size range

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Have you entered  my fab giveaway? For your chance to win a piece from luxury plus size brand Elliott Jane & Persse click on the pic below! 

**This item was sent to me for the purposes of review**

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Style: Introducing Elliott Jane and Persse with a fab Giveaway!

New brand alert! The gorgeous luxury stylings of Elliott Jane and Persse caught my eye a couple of months back. We all know I have a penchant for classic style and simple silhouettes and that's just what this brand delivers in buckets. 

What I really like is the way that is does all this but with a gorgeous femininity. The muted pinks and navy tones are so pretty. 

I was sent the beautiful Kathryn silk blouse in navy. The soft peplum and pretty sleeves have an almost retro feel about them. I kind of feel like I didn't do this top the justice it demands in terms of my styling, but I wanted to find a way to wear it that would be comfortable for every day use and play up to those vintage vibes it was going off. 

The top is cut from a heavy weight silk georgette and it hangs beautifully. The fluid fabric drapes over the body, yet the peplum gives it definition and shape. The quality and fit really are outstanding. I wore this all day and it still looked perfect by the evening. 

I'm wearing the US20, it fits like a UK 22/24, the length is just perfect and it has a slight dip to the back which gives it a really nice shape. 

I really am taken with this blouse, and the whole line. Such beautiful pieces! 

Now the really great part... I have another one of these tops in the next size down, US18 (UK20) to giveaway! The giveaway is open to my UK readers only (sorry) and all you have to do is follow the instructions below! Best of luck! 

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Style: Plus Size Lingerie with Nine X

Hello! It's been a while since I've done any lingerie, so it made a nice change to take a few shots in the bedroom. I've got a beautiful satin robe for you today from Nine X lingerie

I always find the balance between pretty pictures and something a bit more seedy hard to achieve with lingerie. I mean, after all, this is just me in my bedroom with my husband taking pics, so I had a little play with filters today which is something I never normally do, what you see is what you get with me. But I thought it might be fun just to try it! 

The robe is a lovely soft satin material. I'm wearing the short version in the size 22. It hangs really nice andI feel suitably slinky and sexy in it! 

Nine X have a huge range of lingerie specifically for the plus size woman. Ranging from babydolls and robes through to bridal lingerie and briefs. Check them out if you're in the market for something a little bit sexy!  

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**This item was sent to me for the purposes of review**

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Style: Collection for Evans.

Last September in the midst of London Fashion Week, I headed down to the capitol for the much anticipated Evans Collective show. You can read all about it here. Ever since then I've been lusting after a majority of the pieces showcased. One of which was this long line shirt.

We headed to the seaside today, it was bit blustery as you can tell, but it was lovely to get some sea air! I felt rather splendid in this outfit I can tell you! 

For reference, I'm wearing the size 24, the fit is great and I love how it's a little bit longer in the back. This is a sheer garment, so you might want to pop a cami under, or not! I could easily wear this as a dress on it's own, but wanted to go casual for seaside strolling purposes. 

I wore: Abstract print long line shirt - Evans// Jeans (similar) - Junarose// Shoes - ASOS
If you want to shop the outfit, I've popped all the links above! Also check out the rest of the Collection at Evans, it really is something special. 

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