STYLED: the definition of art

fashion, Plus size, Style

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“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.”
Banksy, Wall and Piece

Location: The MAC gallery / St Anne’s square

 

When I have a day off I love nothing more than going out and exploring. anyone who knows me in real life knows I cannot sit still and I defiantly don’t like to be doing nothing with my time so I decided to drag mum out and head down the the MAC. What I love about the MAC apart from the galleries within it is the location. It is my favorite part of Belfast because I could just spend hours walking around the streets looking at all the graffiti. I love spending any free time I can doing this and sometimes I even go into the MAC itself to see what exhibitions are currently running.

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Something that has always appealed to me having spent the majority of my education focusing on art to some degree whether it was at GSCE or A level, an art foundation course or my Fashion degree is the definition of what we actually class as art.

I spent the day in a gallery and also in the biggest gallery of all, the streets. I have used graffiti in alot of projects so perhaps I do have a biased opinion because I love it so much but it is such a public way to access art, you just have to walk around and you will understand someones opinions, beliefs, loves and hates so directly. If it was up to me I would spend all my time walking, reading and learning how people feel.

50 SHADES OF PINK 

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Details:

Khaki Coat- Tesco

Pink high neck top- Primark

IRON MAIDEN top- Primark Mens

Ripped Boyfriend jeans- ASOS curve ( heavily customised by me!)

Tights- Primark

Black Brogues- Stradivarius

Backpack- Primark

Pom Poms keyrings – Stradivarius

BYTAYLORJAYNE

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Going Crosseyed // Blogger Launch Party

Crosseyes, event, Fashion, Gingersnapsvintage, glasses, Launch Party, Lifestyle, Outfit of the day, photography, Positivity, Shopping, Uncategorized

 

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Cupcakes from Lily Pink Bakery 

“The CrossEyes concept is built on honesty, dedication and smart design. Through honest and hardworking employees, and low and transparent prices, CrossEyes is able to create an environment where you receive the right guidance when looking for quality spectacles. CrossEyes has hundreds of different custom made frames, which ensures that everyone can find glasses suitable for both their look and personality. At CrossEyes, we do not hide the prices – we display them for everyone to see”      

CONCEPT INFORMATION AND VIDEO HERE

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On Wednesday 23rd March I was invited to attend the official Press and blogger launch of a brand new Opticians called Crosseyes. I had seen a few weeks earlier the signage go up on the shop front and even before I was contacted I was very interested the simplistic signage made me immediately very curious about what was to come and I immediately hopped onto Google. One quick Google image search of the types of glasses on offer and I knew I would definitely want to check them out, then only about a week later I got the email and knew it was fate! they are located on the Ormeau Road in South Belfast beside the fabulous Kaffeo which makes it very easy to locate the shop as it is only about 10 minutes from the city centre.

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When I arrived I of course being such an early bird was the first one there and I got chatting to the lovely instore team. Paul the optician explained that he had always wanted to start his own opticians and when he discovered the brand he knew that they exactly matched the vision he had for what he wanted to create. What I was immediately struck by was how personal not only the event was but just how lovely the whole team where, I am sure any of my speccy friends out there can relate to the horror that can be getting eye tests but you immediately felt like they would take your own personal needs into consideration and we got chatting as if we were old friends.

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 Once I had talked to the whole team and had a couple of cheeky glasses of prosecco the fabulous Sarah guided me around the whole collection showing me the amazing choice of frames on offer. I literally was spoilt for choice. Anyone who has seen the typical cat eye frames I wear will know I prefer something statement but not giving too strong Dame Edna vibes so seeing such a wide variety from classic shapes to new and exciting takes on the classics was really exciting to me. Anyone who was at the event will know that I fell particularly in love with a pair that I had first spotted on the companies instagram ( see HERE) a few weeks ago and as soon as I saw them they were on my face within seconds.

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They were from the Bamboo range and what I love most is the subtle details such as the lens being very rounded and the small gap left between the lens and the cat eye frame, the natural shading of the bamboo made it feel like the glasses would suit a huge variety of hair colours or eye colours. What struck me the most was how light the frames felt on. As I said before I love a good cat eye however both of my own pairs I have from ASOS can feel rather heavy if I am wearing them for a longer period of time.

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Another favourite were this take on the classic aviator, what I don’t think is too clear in the photo is that the nose bridge area is slightly more detailed than the typical design which just added an extra little bit of interest to the frames.

One key element to the Cross eyes approach to everything is there standard pricing list which means unlike other opticians that include hidden costs everything is inclusive and what you see on the wall is what you pay:

All prices include eye test, free selection of frame, lightweight lens, wide progressive zone, hardening and anti-reflex.

Eyewear no strength £ 85
Single vision £ 145
Single vision +/-3 £ 235
Progressive £ 295
Progressive +/-3 £ 385

Sunglasses £ 95
Sunglasses single vision £ 155
Sunglasses single vision +/-3 £ 245
Progressive sunglasses £ 305
Progressive sunglasses +/-3 £ 395

 

Another great factor to note is that you can get every frame either made into glasses or you can also get them made into sunglasses plus they have a wide array of lens colours ranging from clear right through the rainbow as well as mirrored lens ( How 1990s!)

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Rosanna and Ruth 

Once I had been shown around the range I decided to have a bit of play time and ended up trying on nearly all of the frames in the store and believe me there are alot to choose from! I teamed up with my Megan and Lucy ( linked below) and we collectively probably tried on every pair twice, we also ate about a million brownies and pesto bites as well as probably made Paul and the team wish they hadn’t bought party poppers!!

check out my instagram HERE for all the behind the scenes pics from the night.

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Megan and Lucy

I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to the whole Belfast team, they put on a really great night which ended with drinks in the lovely Brew Bot just up the road and a few games of connect 4 and frustration!

Check out the Belfast stores own Instagram HERE

Or

Find them online HERE

Outfit Details // 

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Denim Culottes // Simply be

Duster jacket // Last year Evans

Vest top // Primark

Studded boots // Topshop

Bra // Tesco

I hope you guys like this post I had so much fun last night and cannot wait to hear what you all think of the idea

Until next time… T-j xx

Seeing style on the streets | Inspirations

belfast fashion week, fashion, fashion show, fashion week, Gingersnapsvintage, inspirations, Launch Party, Lifestyle, photography, Uncategorized

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Catwalk season is upon us and as usual we are seeing what each of the designers has interpreted for the up and coming season. After taking a bit of wind down time after finishing my degree I am trying to get back into the swing of things in regards to keeping up with the new season trends and shapes, however it I have found with the last few seasons my interests are more drawn to what we are seeing on the street rather than the runway.

I was on Instagram a couple of months ago when I saw the news the my beloved Style.com was no more. For the entire time of my degree style.com was my biggest source for nearly all of the visual work I produced but there is now a new site Vogue Fashion which aims to work as the same concept site. I usually for each project look to the work from Tommy Ton for my collections but today I have instead been viewing the work from Phil Oh.

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I think my love of street style is that it takes the trends which are given to us by the designers but humanizes them. What I mean is that you can look at beautiful images from creative catwalk shows but you don’t see how it looks when someone dresses it into their own personal style, I love the mix and creation of new looks which sometimes don’t work and sometimes do.

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The streets are still full of function vs style with trainers still being a wardrobe staple clashed against a more formal piece, seen here with this incredible oxblood number verses what I think are a pair of new balances. This is my favourite type of style when the wearer has fully integrated the catwalk to suite their own personal style.

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All images used have been gathered from Tommy Ton and Phil Oh over the last few months.

Until next time…T-J xo

#FatSabbath : Belfast’s First Plus-size Clothes Swap

event, Fashion, fashion week, Launch Party, Lifestyle, Plus size, Positivity, Self love, Style

 

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DISCLAIMER: To give full credit to the organisers all of my images were taken after the initial rush at the beginning of the event. Therefore the tables look messy because at that point they were but at the beginning I was much too excited to take photos of just how lovely the set up was pre-swap. 

On Sunday 4th October the Black Box bar in Belfast hosted the first ever plus-size clothing swap. Fat Sabbath was something that a friend of mine linked me to on Facebook a couple of months back and when I read that they were planning a clothing swap day I got mega excited, I have heard of clothing swaps before and thought that they seemed like a great idea but to have one right here in Belfast that was aimed towards plus-size was a super exciting discovery!

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One of the organisers was a good blogger friend of mine Claire from French for Cupcake who also provided Cupcakes for the event day which were amazing and all the money donate on the day for entry and for the cupcakes all went straight to the Rainbow Project charity.

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So on the day the doors were opened at 12:30pm so that we could all donate our items receive our swap tokens and help set up the tables full of items, I attended with my mum and sister and together we had about 60 items including clothing, shoes and accessories. Once we had the items checked off everyone helped set up the tables full of items. It was all organised into sizing which made it super easy to find items which were going to work for you. What I loved most about the concept was that it was items that I was going to end up donating anyway and this way I was able to pick up things which I wouldn’t probably have picked up in the shops or items which I thought I could re-purpose for something else.

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My favourite thing about the event, besides a whole new wardrobe of clothes, was just getting time to talk to girls who are more relatable to me. I actually spent most of my day chatting and laughing with the girls about all things fashion, some of you may be aware that six months ago I moved jobs to work for Evans Clothing as my interest in fashion had moved into focusing on the concept of working within plus-size fashion, so it was just lovely to spend time talking to women that are the same as me, have the same issues with clothing and most importantly were just a lovely bunch of ladies to spend a Sunday afternoon with.

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I decided to focus my attention on looking for pieces which I would typically pick-up so I got alot of print, pattern, colour and sequins which I felt would be a great additions and pieces that would make me think more outside the box with my own fashion choices. I think alot of that mentality is down to Netflix releasing the Iris documentary which if you have watched you need to watch it and the Advanced Style documentaries ASAP! I am planning on showing you guys some of the pieces I got but I want to do it through creating a series of outfit posts which I am currently working on, which should be coming up in the next few weeks.

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I just want to put a final HUGE thank you in her to the amazing girls including Claire and Amy ( I know there are others but I didn’t catch everyone’s names sorry) for making such an amazing event, the space was great for the event and I know everyone that I spoke to during the day was having an amazing time! I have heard rumours of the next event being organised for the new year so I am keeping hold of my left over tokens and cannot wait to see what the next was has in store!

I wish now I had got more pictures but I was too busy enjoying myself to be as snap happy as I would want to be

Again the Fat Sabbath Facebook page can be found HERE if you guys want to keep an eye out for when the next event will take place

Until next time…T-j xo

How to wear: That 70’s Trend

Beauty, fashion, Gingersnapsvintage, inspirations, Jewellery, Plus size, Positivity, Self love, Shopping, Style

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Image taken from her official instagram page you can find it HERE      [then edited by me]

The 70s look is back in a massive way for autumn winter 2015 and I for one and totally in love with the look. Now I can put my love of this trend down to one person and one person alone, Miss Florence Welch is the style guru for all things 60s 70s and bohemian. Her look is so well put together but so effortless constantly that I can’t help but be inspired by every single outfit I see from her. I mean really I should be calling this post ways in which I am stealing Florence Welch’s style but anyways back to my point. The 1970s look was all over the catwalk and has exploded onto the high street in a big way this season with nearly every store including it in some shape or form with the A/W offerings.

I have had a look around some of the high-street plus-size retailers and put together some pieces which I think really encompass the trend, So starting with simply be who actually have a brilliant 70s edit page HERE on their website.

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The coat is my stand out piece from their collection and I think really well priced at £65 however due to the nature of the weather in Northern Ireland i.e constant rain I don’t think I could possibly get the wear from it but layering it over any sort of outfit will just give that slightly more subtle nod to the 70s look, I can really see it working well over skinny jeans and a loose top. The bag and shoes are also both more statement pieces, I feel that if you are not 100% sure about rocking the 70s look head to toe then they are a perfect way to dip your toes into a trend to see if you can make it work with your own style.

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A couple of my favorite pieces from New Look ( see the site HERE) include this amazing fringed waistcoat which comes in at just under £20 although they seem to be adding more pieces into their sale on a daily basis so keep an eye. I actually picked up something really similar to this in Primark last week for a night out I was having last weekend and I just loved how easy it was to throw on and it instantly changed what was just a plain black dress into a more 70s look. I also love this little suede skirt and I think alongside a light turtle neck jumper would make a great day time outfit.

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If Florence says an all suede outfit is ok then I am totally all for it!

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Evans Clothing ( find them HERE) also have a great selection of pieces, from tailored waistcoats to bell sleeves. The waistcoat pictured comes in a variety of on trend colours and prints as well as a staple black version all starting at £35, I recently picked up the berry colour for myself and already I have found a million ways to wear it. I think tailoring pieces can also work for the 70s look as they give a more night out feel to an outfit. The bootcut jeggings are a great update for Autumn is the are a great nod to the very popular flare without being overly flared if you are not sure about how the trend will work on you. I think the key point is that if you want to try the trend but are not sure whether or not it will work for you try it out using accessorys and shoes. You can pick up great pieces really inexpensively from the likes of Primark which is how I have worked the trends into my own wardrobe without investing too much money into pieces which probably wont be as on trend in Spring Summer.

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ASOS curve is probably my favourite in terms of getting the trends right at the minute, just looking at the images of the gorgeous Gabby Gregg in the Curve campaign shoot you can totally tell just how inspired they were by the 70s trend. Full of suedes and knitted layers I definitely recommend you check out their site even to just inspire new outfit combinations.

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So as I previously mentioned I have being try to incorporate the 70s look into my own wardrobe in the last few weeks as the weather has began to transition to cooler days and chilly nights. The outfit on the left is a new go to for me, the black dress is one I have had for about a year now from Evans which is probably my favourite LBD. The waistcoat is from Primark for £14, the necklace is also Primark at £5 and I think together they provide a great 70s update to any outfit for under £20. The Waistcoat on the right is also Evans clothing and I think that with this pussy-bow blouse ( also Evans but really old) they together become a great 1970s dressy look.

I hope this post is helpful to you guys , until next time…T-j xx

One Week in my Wardrobe /// Part One

Fashion, Gingersnapsvintage, Outfit of the day, Personal, photography, Plus size, Positivity, Self love, Shopping, Style

 

Now that I am officially finished my degree I am pretty much working full time. I left my old job at the end of March and started working for Evans Clothing which is pretty much my dream retail post. I get to work with customers on a more personal level now that I am becoming an in-store personal stylist which is really exciting. Now that I am pretty much working full time I am making more of an effort with how I dress, finishing a degree was a blur of leggings and oversized jumpers so now with the weather supposedly getting better and summer being around the corner ( although in Northern Ireland I dont even think we have had a proper Spring yet!) I am trying to dress a it more summery.

If you are on my Instagram, INSERT SHAMELESS PLUG HERE then you will know that these outfits are not technically one week in my wardrobe but they do represent my current go to looks. I am favouring dresses at the minute which is something I never ever though I would say but after discovering the smock dress shape I have been hooked. I am trying to make a promise to myself to shop my closet more than I shop the high-street because I have a tonne of clothes that never get to see the light of day which is so wasteful. Because I am working long days I find it really important that I am comfortable so I am still loving layering dresses with leggings.

Monday

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This New Look Dress was a sale bargain that I picked up for a fiver a few weeks ago and it and quickly become my favourite wardrobe staple. It has a mesh panel at the bust and is cut beautifully and really flattering on my shape. The coat was a mega bargain £2 in Primark it is a mesh material and the shape is great. The boots again are a New Look sale bargain from last January, real leather for £6 ! Total outfit costing only £16 ( minus my undies!)

Tuesday

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Tuesday is another Bargain day, I am a rather savvy shopper and can usually find alot of bargains when I go shopping again this Neoprene Trench was £2 in Primark, the dress is very old New Look sale and I think it cost me about £6 or £7. The shoes are new season Evans and they are called the Fern sandal, they are slightly plat-formed and have a brown strap and a black strap making them great for going with pretty much any outfit. and despite the picture I am not quite at the point of total leg exposure just yet!

Wednesday

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A more casual outfit typical of what I wear on my days off, the amazing sporty bomber jacket was a total bargain at £7.50 from one of my favourite Vintage Shops, The Rusty Zip  which was rumoured to be closing but luckily is staying open. The jeggings and black shirt are both New Look, can you spot a trend in my shopping habits 🙂 The trainers are the Woven Roshe Runs from Nike aka my comfy unicorn shoes, I also have them in grey and literally live in them.

Thursday

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One of my braver looks is my matching two piece from Evans last year, this outfit featured heavily in their spring summer 14 campaign and I decided it was going to be my brave girl piece. I am wearing it for the purposes of travelling to work in my Grey Roshe Runs but in work I wore it with my chunky white flatform sandals, I feel like this look needs strong slightly higher shoe to take it out of pyjama chic territory.

Friday

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One of my all time favourite wardrobe staples is this monochrome checked smock dress from the Evans sale last year, it is the right shape for my body and I love the vintage vibes it gives when its mixed with my new ASOS specs. The TUK creepers give it a more grungey edge which we all know it my favourite style.

Saturday

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no your eyes are not playing tricks with you I loved the smock dress so much I bought both colour options. Please tell me I am not the only one who does this I think about 40% of my wardrobe is duplicates in different colours, I find that if I like one style I will buy all the options I can find. The amazing jelly wedges are a recent Primark Pick up and I am totally obsessed with them, they are high and comfortable and I am trying to base my graduation outfit around them

Sunday

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Another wardrobe favourite of mine is this mega oversized ASOS curve cold shoulder smock number, I picked it up on ebay for about £4 all in. I though it was actually 3 sizes smaller when I bought it, teaches me for not wearing my specs, but I instantly fell in love with its oversized ness when it arrived. Just styled very simply with a mesh grey top, just to add sleeves, fishnet socks and my New balance trainers.

I hope you guys like this type of post I am hoping to do it more regularly as I try to take my outfit pic at least a couple of times a week weather permitting

Until next time…. T-J xo

The Stitch Launch Party

event, Fashion, Jewellery, Launch Party, Lifestyle, photography, Shopping, Style

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On Thursday night I was invited to attend the launch of the new brain child from the founders of Mr and Mrs Stitch called ” The Stitch”. The concept behind the stitch is a blog/journal space dedicated to promote the brands sold on the web store but to also produce content which can inspire and interest a much wider base. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the event with my latest blogging bestest Megan from Vent // Threads  

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Find Megan Here Here and Here 

So back to the stitch, basically if you are from Belfast you would probably be familiar with the shops in Wellington Place just down from city hall called Rio Brazil, well Mr and Mrs Stitch is the on-line version of the stores, do you get it? So the Stitch journal is just being launched and is online HERE if you guys want to have a browse. The store itself if mostly high end designers, so perfect if you are looking for an item that you aren’t going to find anywhere else.

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I spy Avril from Schoolgatestyle and Ian from Roguesandbrogues !!

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The event was held in their beautiful new office based also in the city centre and rather conveniently just across the road from the Rio Brazil stores. The lovely folks from Chinawhite ( one of Belfast’s hottest newest nightclubs) provided delicious cocktails for the guests whilst we talked with the owners of the brand as well as shop assistants, finding out all about the shop and the online blog. What I loved about the event was just how relaxed the whole thing was, I was able to have a good catch up with friends that I haven’t seen in months and just have a lovely relaxed time, it was held on the day of my sisters formal and I had been on the go since 9am so it was nice to have a bit of chill time in great company. During the night we got to go through the rails and style up an outfit from their newest drop of stock so when the images are online I will insert my attempt into the post.

I just wanted to say a massive thank-you to the team at The Stitch for a lovely relaxed enjoyable event, especially Laurina who kindly organised the invites. I am hoping to pair up with The Stitch in the coming months so keep you eyes peeled for that!

Until Next time… T-j Xo

Chapter 22: It all starts at the end

Lifestyle, Outfit of the day, Personal, photography, Plus size, Positivity, Self love

 

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Before I begin I am so so super sorry I am a bad blogger at the minute but university is taking all of my energy and time away from everything else.

I turned 22 years old on the 22nd of March aka the end of last week, I left my job which I have had for 6 years on the 21rst March. To say that that was a tough 24 hours would be putting it super mildly, I am currently in a bit of a weird head space. It hasn’t sunk in that I have left my job, which I loved and adored to go into the realm of the unknown. However I haven’t just become jobless I have a job lined up which I start on the 3rd of April that I am so crazy excited to begin, it is another retail position however it is with one of my favourite plus-size brands.

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It has created this time in my life when I am being very super reflective and going on a journey through my emotions and feelings, on the one hand I am in this crazy anxious moment where the fear of the unknown is all consuming but on the other hand I have this beautiful fresh new expierence ready to begin. I think this weird bouquet of feeling is only further emphasised by the bigger realisation that I have 4 weeks left of university and then I am done. I am finished with education and ready to transition into the big bad world. In my head I am going to try and work full time for a while and get some money behind me before deciding what to do next, at the minute this involves leaving northern Ireland even just briefly to expierence what the world has to offer.

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I left my job feeling so nervous and excited about the future that I sort of forgot that it was my birthday the next day, all of my focus and energy went on getting through my final shift without weeping ( which didn’t happen , what can I say I am a total emotional wreck!) that it was only when I woke up and my mum had put out an amazing birthday breakfast spread that I began to realise that it was infact my birthday. That as a statement sounds ridiculous right, not realising it is your own birthday but my brain can only handle so  much that it just didn’t process.

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What I have started to understand is that this amazing new pathway has started to enter my life and I have to accept and embrace it. I am super excited not only to begin my new job but to see where it could possibly lead me in the future. I have spent alot of this year researching plus-size fashion for my dissertation that it has become such a passion and ambition of mine to work in that realm of the fashion industry, I am really hoping that this move is the first rung of the ladder towards a career.

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I suppose most of all I have found an inner strength that I wasn’t fully aware of, if you had said to me even a couple of months ago that I would leave my current job so soon I would have laughed and told you to wind your neck in and to stop being an eejit but now on the other side I suppose of leaving I am just so excited to get going. This week is a super busy one for me with my sisters formal, 2 blog events and my leaving do in the next three days that I wanted to get this quick mini update up so you guys know that I am still around and that GSV is still going strong. Once I have finished uni I will put more of a focus on the blog and I have plans in motion for a revamp and redo of the layout and style of the blog so there will be that to look forward to.

I have seen the light at the beginning of this chapter and for  a the first time in a few years I am embracing my birthday as a symbolic time of change, renewal and growth!

I hope you guys are having a brilliant 2015 so far, stay tuned for a few pre planned posts appearing in the next week or so

Until Next Time…T-j Xo

Being Fat is a Temporary State

Personal, Plus size, Positivity, Self love

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I got such an incredible response to my previous post called No New Years Resolutions so I want to first start by saying thank you guys so so much, it was so nerve wrecking hitting publish on such a personal post however within about 2 minutes I started getting an incredible response and knew I had made the right decision. I have decided that I want to make these more personal posts I more regular part of the blog and have began planning the new few. This post however is slightly more organic in construction as it is inspired by a post I have just seen on Tumblr, I am slightly obsessed with Tumblr ( find me HERE) anyway I was scrolling down my feed when I came across a post by a lovely girl called Haya talking about her own body image and she brought up a point which really resonated with me:

“Also pretty tired of calling myself fat and having people jump to disagree with me and tell me I’m beautiful, as if it’s impossible to be both.

No one had to tell me that it’s okay to be fat. I just kinda figured it out on my own. ”   source blog linked HERE

 I think this struck such a cord with me because it is something I am often faced with. I have never been the type of person to dance around a subject I can therefore be incredibly blunt with things aka I will call a spade a spade. I do however draw a line and will not insult anyone else but if I dont agree with a point you will totally be aware of it pretty quickly. I can be strong willed ( a nicer term for stubborn isn’t it)  I thank my parents for this. They have been such incredible role models and I have grown into a person unafraid to speak my mind.

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Just as a quick sort of disclaimer I do not mean to offend anyone, I am totally aware that people reading this will have said or brought up some of the points that I am going to mention and I don’t get annoyed at you personally it is an immediate social response, not your own doing. My main issue involves a situation such as this, I will talking in a group or one on one with a person and we are just chatting away and then I will make a remark about my size and immediately someone will jump in with something like, don’t be silly , your beautiful, stop saying that about yourself. Now just to state right now I am completely aware that these statements are meant with the best intent. They are not meant to offend or annoy but some part of me cannot help but take offence.  I know it is a human reaction that when someone addresses them self in a way that you deem negative that the instant response is to try and counter it by telling them the opposite however I just stopped agreeing that being fat means that you are any less beautiful. For me personally the word fat is to be used as a descriptive term, in the same way I describe myself as tall and ginger I also describe myself as fat. I am not trying to pretend to be something that I clearly am not I am fat, I have accepted it so why can’t everyone else.I totally understand that there is a strong counter agruement to this, that alot of people don’t feel other people have the right to judge their appearance and make that decision because what is fat, if you are a size 6 and someone else is a 12 is that fat or if someone is an 18 and you are a 28 are they fat? I am not condoning going around calling everyone fat because as I have stated some people will take this as offence however the point I am wanting to make is that if someone is already identifying them-self as fat that you dont jump in to correct them. Fat and beautiful are not mutually exclusive they can totally co-exist together in harmony.

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One theory that has risen time and time again whilst researching for my dissertation on the plus-size fashion market is the theory that being fat is a temporary state. I was watching the new channel 4 programme Weighing up the Enemy  which stars Dr Jessen from embarrassing bodies. I was informed about the programme by a friend who said episode one contained a section about plus-size fashion. He was talking to some English plus-size bloggers about the relation between  more availability of plus-size clothing and an increasing unwillingness to change. It is an undeniable fact that obesity is on the rise, I cannot dispute that but I thought the programme brought up some interesting theories that really made me begin to think was having more choice a bad thing did it make people less concerned with addressing the issue at hand because now more and more companies where producing fashionable pieces in larger sizes. But them I realised that this wasn’t how the situation should be viewed, again as I previously mentioned being fat to me is the same as being tall and ginger so I realised that I shouldn’t feel any kind of guilt for this that I should not be grateful to shops for catering to a larger size range. If I ever feel the need to address my size it is on my time and nothing to do with society, I will not be sized out of fashion. It is the same with maternity lines and petite it is something which is needed in-stores. This is another story for another post however because I could go on all day about this!

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As I have previously mentioned I struggle with social anxiety, I struggle to be in large spaces such as walking through the city centre without my headphones. I have had many occasion where I have accidently completely ignored people because I am just not listening to anything but the music. This usually works however one big trigger area I find is eating alone in public or eating with people who are new to me. I find that if I am alone I can feel judgements being made regarding what I am eating, for example, when I am eating with people the comments usually go as follows, ” are you trying to be good? ” ” are you dieting” I feel that’s what makes it so hard for me to become comfortable eating in public because of fear of judgement. Although as I previously mentioned these comments are never meant any way but nicely I still can struggle receiving them, If I am eating a salad it is because that is what I wanted to eat. If I am eating a entire birthday cake ( an over exaggeration I am aware but trying to illustrate a point) then that is also ok. My diet is not your concern, and again I know society has us believe that anyone who is deemed plus-size must be constantly trying to slim down I am here to say that in my case , that isn’t the case. Of course I am aware I need to get myself eating alot healthier than I am currently but that is something for me to work on in my own time. I sometimes get really annoyed with myself for allowing myself to feel like this and to worry what others think, I shouldn’t let the judgement of others effect how I personally feel but I can’t help it.I know deep down that I am the only person who can judge me so as again I mentioned in the new years post to a certain extent I have finally accepted my size but there is always going to be alot of ifs and buts to this rule.

If you guys take anything from this post I want to create a concious thought amongst society that being fat and beautiful aren’t a one or the other type situation to find yourself in. I am tired of having to justify my appearance just because it doesn’t suite the opinions of everyone.

 I hope once again that you guys enjoy the more personal posts as much as I enjoy doing them, There is something very therapeutic about writing them.

Until next time…T-j xo

No New Years Resolutions 2015: Learning to become happy in myself

Lifestyle, Personal, Plus size, Positivity, Self love

I feel that it is probably very cliche to be posting this around new years but it is a subject I have been thinking about for about six months or so. Through doing so much research into the plus-size fashion industry I have discovered a mind set that I to was very guilty of for a long time. I have always been a bigger girl, in my early teens I went from children’s-wear into a women’s size 10 to 12 by the time I was only about 12 years old. I was tall and a bigger build from all the other girls, It lead me through years of torment and bullying. I however am not using this post as a pity party, yes I was bullied and that was tough but again as cliche as it sounds it has taught me so much about inner strength. We all go through life defining struggles and every persons experiences growing up regardless of whether they where good or bad define who they have become as a person.

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The mindset I previously referred to was the mindset which made me view being fat as a temporary state. When I was around sixteen I was about a size 16-18 and filled my head with dreams and ambitions of a fictional life that I would have as soon as a lost weight. I wouldn’t buy new clothes instead spending my money on shoes and accessories all the time planning on what I would wear when I was “skinny.” I got my first job when I was 16 and  I think that having my own source of income further affected my issues. I secretly bought clothes in a size 10 and stood for hours in-front of the mirror pretending what I would be like when I was thin, had long hair and life was just better. This is a fact that I am not proud to admit and haven’t ever spoken it out loud but it is so important to document my struggle for myself so that I don’t go back to those ways. I spent so long hating myself that I didn’t give myself time to live and to enjoy, I was constantly focused on this unrealistic approach and mentality that I didn’t allow myself to be happy in the moment.

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My final two years in school where a living hell I hated everything and wasn’t achieving the grades I wanted and thought that I needed. I grew more and more unhappy and in the end I left school with no confidence and no energy. I was still in the mindset that I was heading towards some big change, my light bulb moment, the time where I would reclaim my confidence. I had a place on a photography degree course but with two weeks to go I gave it up and rushed to find another course to occupy my time. I applied for the course I am in now but didn’t get a place, I ended up with a place on an art foundation course with Belfast Met and thought that it would just be a space filler. I have mentioned before by truly September 2011 to July 2012 was my most life-changing year. I owe so much of who I am now to the people in my class and tutors from this time. I had a bad accident in October of this year and needed alot of help which I got in bucket-loads from the incredible people I had to pleasure to share my class with, I didn’t even realise it at the time I wish I had so I could have truly thanked them but the support I got in this year restored most of my faith in teachers and people.

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By the end of the year I was feeling so much better as a person, I had lost weight and regained by confidence. I dont mean to say that losing weight was what made me accept myself, infact since this time I have put back on one of the three stone I lost but it is more that surrounding myself with the right people was the key. I became just a happier person in all respects and was able to move into my new course with a new found sense of self. It was at this point that I began to realise that this body that I am in flaws and all is my body. It is my place, my home, my sanctuary my everything and I have to accept it for what it is in this moment. I had to stop wishing my life away with what ifs and buts. I had to accept this body in its current state as being how I was going to look and to focus my attentions on other aspects of my life. I feel that not only was getting away from school and all that drama, going through a life flashing before my eyes moment, rediscovering my passions with art but getting rid of negative forces in my life all helped me discover my true feelings of self.

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Fast forward to now and as previously mentioned through my dissertation research I discovered that I wasn’t alone with having this mentality, that many in the fashion industry also view being fat, plus-size, curvy, chunky whatever term you choose, as being a temporary phase. It is usually presented in the media as the before image. We see in the media images of women with glasses, a sad face and who are larger than they would like to be being paraded in front of mirrors and the public and told of all these miracle cures to the new you! Instead of being told that if you are unhappy that you of course have many options available to you dependent on what you want to do However if you are happy being curvier than the “normal” images we are presented that that is perfectly acceptable as well. Your opinion is the only one that should ever matter as long as you aren’t causing harm to yourself or others you can do whatever you damn well want! It is only after realising this and being so saturated with different opinions on the matter that I have finally realised my worth. I am strong, I have been through alot, I am generally a good person ( on the most part) No my diet isn’t as healthy as it should but I am Great just as I am, and what is more it is OK to be happy in this current state. I shouldn’t always be looking for a better state or waiting for something which isn’t realistic I have to live each moment to the fullest and embrace all opportunities I am given.

2014 has been a great year, I have had so many amazing opportunities with placements for my studies. Particularly working with a local stylist on a number of projects throughout the year has been one of my highlights of the year, it is given me so much confidence in my own abilities and has proven to me that I am on the right path. I have been in  a number of competitions which has been incredible. I still have a part-time job that  I love , yes it is retail and isn’t always a bundle of roses but I have a work family and some of the best friends I have thanks to that place. My family are my rock and are with me 100% of the way and support every decision that I make.I wont be making any resolutions because for me they would just become a list that I would use to limit myself from experiencing everything life has to throw at me.  I have no idea what 2015 has in-store for me, I finish University in June and don’t have a clue what is in-store after that but I am so excited to find out!

I hope you guys have an incredible new years and try not to focus on creating short term outrageous resolutions, ensure that whatever you do that you put yourself first, after all if you dont who will. I hope that if you are celebrating new years eve you have  a great time. I am working all day tomorrow so will no doubt be in bed before 10pm and miss the whole thing but I shall speak to you all in 2015. I am so super excited to see what 2015 has in-store for my little blog, Bring it on!!!

Until next time… T-J xo