fashion

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First of all, plus-size is such an annoying term. But I don't want to say that I'm a 'bigger gal' or that I'm 'chunky'. I'm just not thin. And I'm not saying that in a woeful sad way. Nor am I thrilled with my body. Like many mothers, I just never lost the baby weight. I'm not happy about this, but I can't live my life beating myself up about the size of my thighs.

For a few years, after I had my son, I would mainly wear black and navy. I would hide behind/in dark colours, as I thought that they disguised the excess weight. But the thing is, wearing all black doesn't make you look 30 pounds lighter. And it doesn't make you invisible. But when you're overweight, you often don't want anyone to look at you. You don't want to stand out in a crowd.

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Every April I get new raincoats for the kids, and sometimes for Husband anid me. It rains so much in the UK that it's essential to have light and waterproof rain gear. Unless you stay home every time it rains. But I don't think that's feasible. And it's certainly a very boring way to live.

We all have Regatta winter coats (and love them), so we were eager to try out their lighter gear.  The only issue is that since we received our jackets in April, there has been a record low of rain. And no rain means no need for a raincoat. We wore our jackets four or five times this spring, but only on the school run. So we were actually a bit relieved this weekend to get some rain and wear our new coats on an outing. So off to Kew Gardens we went (and ate our picnic as we walked around).

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Do you ever get a new pair of shoes that fill you with utter happiness? Well, this happened last week when my new leopard sandals arrived. I had been eyeing them up on the Hotter website for over a month. Umming and ahhing. Do I really need new sandals? It turns out that I really did. After all, my wardrobe was severely lacking in leopard ones (meaning I had none).

I almost never wear heels, so I try and find flat shoes that look stylish and not frumpy. And for summer, these leopard sandals are ideal. They ooze elegance but never make you feel like a nana (sorry nana). But it's true, I love being comfortable and refuse to suffer for style. Yes, I would love to wear some three-inch heels, but I know it would kill my back and give me a leg ache.

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I have spent about a month searching for the perfect summer jumpsuit. I had tried on about 20, and I was about to give up when I popped into Sainsbury's last week. I went in to buy pyjamas, and ended up with this navy jumpsuit instead. Jumpsuits are such a versatile piece of clothing. One item can easily be made more casual, ready for drinks with the girls and then even be used as workwear.  But not all jumpsuits work with everyone.

I am a pear-shape (such an old-fashioned term, but  we all understand it). I normally wear a larger size for trousers than for tops. This makes jumpsuit-buying a bit tricky. Some jumpsuits are tight on my legs but fit my upper half. Then there are the insecurities I have towards my body. I don't like anything too tight. I don't show my arms. The jumpsuit is actually sleeveless, but I thought my denim kimono would look nice without screaming 'I'm wearing a cardigan because I hate my flabby arms'.

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When you're chubby and in your 40s, you can feel like there's no place for you in the fashion industry. There are all these gorgeous, skinny women in magazines and on Instagram. And sometimes you can't help but feel inferior. But recently, I have started following more women over 40. More women of different shapes. And it has re-ignited my love of fashion.

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I love earrings, but I find it really tough finding earrings that aren't too heavy and which don't irritate my ears. Statement earrings have been all the rage for a couple of years now, but I haven't been able to join in. Not until now. I bought these earrings from a market stall a couple of months ago. They are very light and give a bit of a statement.

While wearing my new earrings from Esoteric London, I got to thinking about the history of earrings. Did you know that in ancient times, earrings were predominantly worn by men? And in ancient Rome, earrings were worn only by slaves while in ancient Greece, they were worn by prostitutes. In the 13th century, the Catholic Church forbade the piercing of ears; only thieves, pirates and lower class people continued to wear them.

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A few months ago, I was doing my food shopping in Sainsbury's when some denim dungarees called to me. Now, I hadn't worn dungarees in almost 20 years. Back in university I was quite a fan of overalls (as us Americans call them). They're so comfy, which is perfect when you're young and don't have a job. At first, I felt a bit apprehensive about trying them on. But they were so cute, I just had to buy them.

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There's something about August. It's technically still summer but thoughts have turned to autumn. And that means that I've started updating our autumn/winter wardrobes. And like most mums, I make the kids' clothes the priority. Besides our favourite places, I love trying out new shops. Preferably online, as that is where I do most of my shopping. So when Angel & Rocket got in touch, I couldn't wait to see their clothes in real life.

Moozles wears a lot of casual clothes. While her brother prefers shirts and bowties, she likes baggy dresses and shorts. But I knew she would love the Imogen Tweed Blazer and the coordinating Linzi Tweed Shorts and Tights. It is smart, but not fussy or frilly. The blazer is cut extremely well, and the shorts have a waistband making it perfect for those with smaller waists. While the blazer and shorts look great together, they would also look lovely separately.

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Last week was my 42nd birthday. And while it is not traditionally thought of as a significant birthday - I think all birthdays are special. So we packed the kids off to their grandparents for a few days, and Husband and I enjoyed the sites and restaurants of London. Regular readers may remember that we spent my birthday in York last year. We had so much fun, but this year we thought we'd enjoy the capital city.

On Friday, my actual birthday, Husband booked us a table at Bob Bob Ricard. It is a Russian restaurant, elegantly decorated. Rather than normal tables, they have booths, and each booth comes with a 'Press for Champagne' button. As you can imagine, it is a popular place for Champagne-lovers. As the restaurant is quite over-the-top, I wanted some dramatic make-up. One of my nieces works at Laura Mercier at the Bentall Centre in Kingston and she booked me in for a makeover.

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Summer is upon us. It has been so warm this past week, at least it has been in London and Surrey. I've finally packed away my winter coat and plan to wear summer dresses as much as I can. A few days ago I popped into the Woking Shopping Centre to purchase a new summer outfit for our holiday in France.

First stop was Debenhams. I love having a range of shops to choose from and Debenhams has some of my favourite brands, including Oasis and Warehouse. This brightly coloured midi dress is from the latter. Normally I choose looser dresses, but this dress was so pretty that I thought I'd be brave and get it. I'm so glad that I did. Yes, I have curves. At 41, I am finally not so embarrassed at my shape. I've teamed it with a cardi, as well as a t-shirt, making it perfect for those cooler summer days.

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