Perfect Proposals, Wonderful Weddings, and more

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about marriage proposals, it started out as a simple post but after turning to blogging buddies for their stories the post transformed. I loved writing it, but I loved reading others' stories so much that I decided to do a proposal series. An interview style post where you answer questions about your proposals and tell your story. So today, sharing my own story, I'm introducing Perfect Proposals.

But that's not all.

Exiting Engagements is a chance for those who aren't yet engaged to share their idea of the perfect marriage proposal.

And Wonderful Weddings, where I ask about your wedding, how the day went, what the weather was like, and everything in between. 

Post Comment Love 25th - 27th November

Welcome to Post Comment Love, the linky that aims to give extra love to the posts linked up. Whether you're a regular or a newbie, it's great to see you! 

Is it just me or are the weeks flying by? I feel like it was only 2 minutes ago it was the start of the Summer Holidays and now it's almost Christmas. Next week I'll be putting up Christmas decorations and the house will feel festive and before you know it'll all be over and we'll be into yet another year. 

But let's not wish the time away,

I'm focussing on right now. 

Be Real, Be You

We are bombarded day and night with images in magazines, on the TV, and in movies that make us think we are not good enough. We are not, and could never be, as beautiful as the movie stars or the music stars. We are shorter, fatter, have a stumpy nose or wear glasses so how could we ever consider ourselves worthy? Our confidence revolves around the images we see every day and that's why I love the Be Real Body Image Pledge, supported by Dove. It's time that organisations portrayed realistic body image. It's time you had the confidence to be real, to be you.

An attack on the mind

When I was thirteen years old I was told I had to wear glasses. I had been struggling to read the blackboard in school and couldn't manage without them any longer. It was amazing to finally be able see further than a few feet in front of me while wearing my glasses but I now had to contend with the fact that I was a teenage girl who had to wear glasses.

I became "four-eyes".
I became "ugly".

Not only did I have to deal with raging hormones and periods but now I had to deal with awful people who called me names because I needed glasses. I was a timid child and didn't like confrontations so I tried to ignore the bullies and secretly cried into my pillow at night. I hated wearing glasses. The worst part was when bullies drew glasses onto stars faces in magazines and laughed because it made them look ugly. Wearing glasses was the mark of ugliness.

There were no stars who wore glasses, that I knew of, and it only made things worse. The movies didn't help either, there was always the classic librarian who suddenly became beautiful when she took off her glasses. It killed my self-esteem.

I remember a slight change in attitudes when Mel B (Scary Spice) wore glasses in public, suddenly it was cool to wear glasses. Those bullies began to wear glasses, everyone in school wanted to be 'cool' like Mel B. I wasn't "ugly" anymore, and no one called me "four-eyes" for a while.

Be Real

80% of women and girls wish the media did a better job portraying realistic and diverse body image. The Be Real Body Image Pledge encourages organisations to promote the responsible portrayal of body image in advertising, media, fashion and music.

It would be great if we could start seeing more realistic images in the media. Imagine what it would be like to see the real stars, not photoshopped magazine covers.

After years of being brainwashed to think that having a tiny waist and big boobs is beautiful I've managed to retrain myself. I used to laugh or judge women if they were overweight or flat-chested and I'm ashamed of that, but I blame the media. I was told what to think and was too young to know any different. Now though I don't do it, when I see an overweight lady running along the street in her lycra I want to shout out "Good for you!", I smile because she's making an effort and she looks great. We are all different and should celebrate our differences, not pretend those differences don't exist.

Be You

The best way to make a change is to be you. Go out there and be confident. Show everyone that we are proud to be different and we celebrate our differences. It would be a boring world if we were all the same after all.

If you like to wear bright and colourful clothes, DO IT!
If you want to have pink hair, DO IT!
If you want to wear joggers and relax, DO IT!

Whatever it is you love to wear, put it on and strut your stuff! And don't forget...

Be Real, Be YOU.

I created this post as a competition entry in support of Dove and the Be Real Body Image Pledge.

Linking with Share the Joy.

Autumn/Winter Workwear for Men and Women

Workwear is not something that I find myself concerned with very often. Having not worked in an office for almost 13 years it's not something I think about. The Hubby hasn't had to think about it for a while either because for the last 7 years he has worked at home. Working at home means that the Hubby and I can select more comfortable clothes to work in but during Autumn and Winter we still need to think about staying warm. I love putting together fashion pieces so I thought I'd do an Autumn/Winter workwear post for people who work at home, with a few pieces for those who do work in an office.
clothes in hexagons, workwear, homewear

Finding clothes that are both comfortable and smart can be difficult when you're a plus size woman. I like to look smart even though I work at home but more often than not I opt for comfort. I tend to have a few favourite shops I'll go to because I know their clothes are comfortable and smart.



First of all I grabbed all the tops I loved from my favourite stores:

Post Comment Love 18th - 20th November

Hi guys! Welcome back to another week of Post Comment Love where Stephanie and I give your posts that extra bit of love. Every week we look forward to seeing what posts get linked up and every week we have such a range of topics it's a pleasure to read. Thank you for coming back week after week to link up your posts, and if you're new here - welcome!

I have finally recovered from Blogfest '16, I think last night I managed to catch up on sleep and am feeling back to normal now. It's always tiring to go to the blogging conferences in London, I have to get to the train station at about 6:30am, spend a few hours travelling, then there's the conference itself and then back on train to go home. I usually get home after 9pm whenever I go to a conference in London so it's quite a long day.

It was a great day though, despite some questionable comments about men. I enjoyed listening to the sessions and learnt a lot from Emily Quinton in her photography session. I don't feel like I'm a terrible blogger for wanting to take all my photos with my phone because she said she takes the majority of her photos with her phone! Yay! Like I said, I learnt a lot in that session and hopefully that will show in the photos I take from now on.

A new family game to play this Christmas: Best Guess

We love playing games, the four of us together sat around the dining table playing our favourite board game. While there are a few games we can play on consoles, like MarioKart, there aren't many games on, say, the iPad, that we can play as a family. But that is all about to change thanks to a brilliant new game from Crash Lab called Best Guess. This is a game we can play together while passing around an iPad or iPhone and answering questions, or at least guessing at the answers!

The games we play

Game of Life, Monopoly, Catan, and Carcassonne are all games we have played together as a family and we love all of them. Playing board games has become a thing we all enjoy doing and I'm sure it will continue as the boys grow older. We've introduced the boys to games we played as children, like Monopoly or Scrabble, and together we've discovered new games like Catan and Carcassonne where we learn as we play.

So far though there hasn't been a game on the iPad we could play together. My boys love their iPads and love all the games they can switch between, but it's never much of a social thing, they'll just stare at the screens and play quietly (or as quietly as a 7 and 12 year old can),

Enjoying me time at Blogfest '16

If you didn't know Blogfest '16 is a blogging conference organised by Mumsnet and it was held last Saturday in London. It is a place where hundreds of bloggers meet, learn, and have a good time away from the children. I bought my ticket months ago and travelled to London on the train early Saturday morning, I was excited to meet lots of blogging buddies and enjoy some me time in the process. Being more confident because it wasn't my first trip definitely helped things and I'm so glad I made the trip.
blogfest 16 programme, notebook, pen, iPad, and camera on an old table background

Meeting new friends

Just before making the trip to Blogfest '16 I'd organised to meet someone new on arrival at St Pancras. A newbie blogger, Sarah from A Mundane Life, was going to Blogfest and it was her first time. She was super nervous so I offered to meet her in London and we could walk to the place together.

Christmas Extravaganza at Clarks Village

It's exciting to see towns and cities putting up Christmas lights this time of year as they prepare for the big switch on. I like to see the process of the lights and decorations being put up as the town transforms into a festive place. The switch on though is the best part and it would be nice if I could go to the Christmas Extravaganza at Clarks Village on 17th November (this Thursday), not only are the lights being switched on but there's a chance to meet local Olympians too.
The entrance to Clarks Village lit up with christmas lights

Meet Olympians and Paralympic Heroes

On Thursday 17th November local Olympians and Paralympic heroes, James Guy (swimmer), Jo Frith (archer), and Ed Ling (trap shooter), will be pushing the button and illuminating the village. 

Visitors to the village will be able to meet their heroes and ask questions as well as have a photo taken with their favourite star - and they'll even have their medals with them!

Make a child smile this Christmas with Operation Christmas Child

In a world where our children are bombarded with adverts this time of year and we're surrounded by thoughts of presents to buy for family and friends it can be easy to forget there are children out there that won't receive a present on Christmas morning. It makes me sad thinking about that and so this year, we decided to take part in Operation Christmas Child; a project run by Samaritan's Purse that ships shoeboxes full of gifts to children around the world.
holly at christmas, focussed in the foreground, blurred in the background

What Christmas is about

When I was a little girl (think 8 or 9 years old) I remember  going to Midnight Mass with my Nan. She was a religious lady who wanted to involve me in everything she could. I couldn't believe she'd chosen to take me and felt privileged to go. My memories are fading now, but I recall the pastor speaking about helping others at Christmas, how it was a person's duty to help those less fortunate than themselves. That has always stuck with me and I like to think I've done my best to do that.

Christmas is a time to be together, to give presents to family and friends to show how much you care. But it is also a time to think about others, those less fortunate than ourselves, that may not receive a present at all. 

Post Comment Love 11th - 13th November

Welcome to another week of Post Comment Love - where your best (or favourite) post of the week gets the extra love it deserves. If you're a regular linker, welcome back, and if you're a newbie thanks for stopping by. Link up your post, grab our badge, and make some new friends!

I can't quite believe we're in the second week in November already. I was chatting to the Hubby the last week and we were talking about Blogfest 2016, I told him it was in two weeks and he was confused. After checking I realised it was just a week away and then I panicked. "I'm not ready!" was my first thought, but after calming down a little I got excited. Tomorrow (!) I'll be travelling to London (again) and I get to see some of my favourite blogging buddies as well as say hi to people I've only ever spoken to online. Best of all though I get to chat (in real life!!) to Steph, my lovely co-host.

This time around I'm a lot less worried and a lot more excited, I might even learn something... or more to the point I might implement the things I learn! I'm looking forward to saying hello to Aby from You Baby Me Mummy, her productivity course has really helped me over the last couple of months so I want to thank her.

The boys are looking forward to Saturday too because it means they get to spend a whole day with their dad on their own. I'm sure they'll have a great time, and when I get back they'll probably ask me when I'm going again!

Marriage proposals - how do you do it?

When I was a little girl I dreamt of the day my knight in shining armour would ask me to marry him. As a steadfast Disney fan I knew my day would come eventually, all I had to do was wait. Obviously as a young girl I had no idea about the realities of a marriage proposal but I do think it was healthy to dream. I loved the fantasies, pretending to be a princess and having a prince propose was always my favourite. With the pressures of movies showing us how a proposal should be done I began wondering how regular people (not movie stars) proposed, so my question to you is - How do/did you do it?

According to tradition the man proposes to the woman, although that isn't always the case, as we almost saw in Friends.

He presents the woman with a ring and simply asks "Will you marry me?" - but is that how it really happens?

Our story

The Hubby and I have been married for just over 9 years and they have been the happiest of my life. Our engagement story is nothing like the movies, there was no restaurant where the Hubby hid the ring in a cake. Our story signifies who we are as people. 

One night, while we were in bed chatting, the Hubby asked me if I was happy.

“Of course!” I said, at the time I couldn’t have been any happier; I had a boyfriend who loved me and I had a beautiful son who I got to spend every day with. I was a young stay-at-home mum with nothing to worry about but keeping my boys safe.

He went on to ask if there was anything he could do that would make me happier, I told him I didn’t think there was. As I was clearly not getting what he was driving at he said “Okay then... what if we got married?”

How to enjoy Autumn

The Autumn months are officially here, there's a chill in the air and the days are shorter, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself. Even when you spend your days at home with the children there are great ways to enjoy Autumn.
a young boy playing in a pile of dead leaves, the sun is shining and there are trees in the background.


What comes to mind when I think of Autumn is the coloured leaves, the wonderful colours that surround us during the cooler months.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. 
Albert Camus.

Doesn't that just say it all?

Post Comment Love 4th - 6th November 2016

It's that time of the week again, Post Comment Love is here and Stephanie and I are waiting to read some fantastic posts from you. Link up your best post of the week, a post that needs some extra love, or simply your favourite and we will show it the love it deserves. If you're new here, welcome, and if you're a regular linker, thanks for coming back!

The boys are back at school this week (Yay!) which means we're back into a good routine. Although I'm not liking the darker nights very much, it's dark by 5pm these days. It won't be long before I'll be getting up when it's dark too, I hate that. I'm lucky to sit by a large window during the day because really it's the only daylight I get, apart from during the school runs of course. 

I always find it difficult to get motivated to do anything when the days are shorter, it must be to do with how much daylight I'm exposed to. I've been meaning to sort out my office, things are getting rather cramped and it's filled with junk, but finding the time and motivation is proving tricky. The same goes for the rest of the house too, there's so much junk everywhere and I keep saying we'll get it sorted but somehow it never happens. Do you find you're like this? I say I'll do something but when it comes around to actually doing it, I don't. Perhaps I'm just being lazy?

Beasty Baby Christmas show at Nottingham Lakeside Arts

This Christmas season you can experience the heart-warming tale of Theatre-Rites' Beasty Baby at Nottingham Lakeside Arts.


About Beasty Baby

In a snow-laden forest lives an adorable, sweet yet totally mischievous baby. Watch the magical mayhem unfold as three people take on the job of raising this endearing little rascal. 

Beasty Baby is a story of family life and the wonderful, but often challenging moments in a child's early years. Children will delight in the comical antics of Beasty Baby, whilst parents can reminisce on the chaotic magic of bringing up a child. It's one that will make the whole family smile. 

Hobbies for stay-at-home mums

Thirteen years ago I'd just found out I was pregnant. I spent time reading about pregnancy and readying myself for being a first-time mum. 

At around 5 months pregnant, I left work and began my maternity leave and at the time I had no idea how my life would change. The Hubby (the boyfriend then) worked in an office which meant I would be at home alone every day. 

Having spent most of my time up to then working I didn't know what I would do but I decided to do a little research into hobbies. Over the years I've been through a few hobbies, some I've enjoyed and some I gave up pretty quickly. Below you'll see just a few hobbies you could try.