Get ready for spring with Finity + Co

Spring has officially sprung, which, if you’re anything like me, that means it’s time to pack away your ‘winter’ wardrobe and start reorganising the shelves with your spring goodies. Beautiful dresses, floaty blouses and tops, a pair of palazzo pants (a personal fave), maybe a few light cardigans if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere it’s not already hitting 30 degrees by 9am (so not Queensland, Australia). For me, spring is the perfect time to have a little style evolution. It’s the start of a new season; new colours are on every corner, new shapes and hemlines are being released and retailers are putting their best foot forward to show off their array of stunning floral prints that we’ve been dreaming about all winter long.

I, of course, like to kick my spring wardrobe off with a new dress (I mean, you could just pull an old dress out of your wardrobe, but there’s really not as much fun in that, is there). And with the ever-changing and unexpected lay of the world right now, it feels more important than ever to shop small where I can, to support local businesses and find brands that create a safe space for plus size shopping. If you have to purchase a new dress, you may as well know that your shopping addiction is helping support someone’s family, right? Enter Finity + Co.

Started as a side hustle with big dreams, Finity + Co is a family run business based in Victoria, Australia. Owner Tracey, manages this online boutique on top of a 9-5 job, plus is busy raising two little ones – can you say superwoman! With a motto and mission of ‘know your worth’, Finity + Co is a brand for women wanting to stay fashionable, comfortable, and most importantly, who still want to feel like themselves (no fad fashion trends here).

On arriving at the Finity + Co website, you’ll see that things are done a little differently. Creating a real sense of community, Finity + Co offers their new release pieces at a SALE price (I know right), rewarding you with savings when you are quick to shop. If you are a subscriber, you receive access to these new arrivals 24 hours before everyone else – here, it SAVES to be in the know.

This week’s new arrivals include the Carmine Dress. In a vibrant teal colour with a peachy floral print, if this one doesn’t scream SPRING DRESSING to you, you may need to have your hearing checked. The Carmine Dress is the perfect inter-seasonal dress, in cooler weather you could wear her with a denim jacket and a pair of tan boots. Or if you’re somewhere where the sun shines a little warmer, a simple earring and a pair of wedges or a small block heel would make this perfect for an afternoon event or ladies lunch. If a casual weekend look is more your vibe, a pair of white sneakers never goes astray either! This style is 100% lightweight rayon with a three quarter length sleeve that fastens with button detailing. It has a cute v-neck with frill detailing and fully functional buttons to the waistline (which is elasticised) making this also a great option if you’re pregnant or nursing. I personally love a midi length dress, for functionality and modesty reasons, and this style hits me mid calf – perfect!

Now I know online shopping can be tricky when it comes to sizing for many people, and the Finity + Co team get it too, so they’ve made it super easy to ensure you’re getting the right fit. Every item listed on their website also includes a unique sizing chart which displays the measurements on the garment, so you can best match it to your own measurements! They also offer a personalised service via their email address if you need an extra helping hand. Due to being a new brand, I choose the 3XL in this particular style on this occasion, which was a great fit, if not a little generous! There are sizes 8 – 26 on offer across various styles.

So next time you’re ready to update your wardrobe, with new styles and prints dropping frequently, why not take a look a Finity + Co (and don’t forget to sign up to their email to receive that exclusive subscriber access!)

Experience Cenote Casa Bathhouse

When I say bathhouse, you say? …Naked old men.

I’ll admit that may have been my first reaction – quickly followed by what is a bathhouse, and what do you do there – when I heard that Brisbane had recently opened it’s very at Cenote Casa Bathhouse. After realising that my knowledge of bathhouse activity was limited to my high school Ancient History class an this was in-fact, not how they operated these days, I was intrigued to give it a go myself.

Cenote Casa Bathhouse has just recently opened in Wooloongabba, Brisbane as a communal unisex bathhouse. Fitted with a cedar wood sauna, magnesium plunge pool, heated hydrotherapy spa, steam room infused with essential oils, sun deck and lounge areas, this is the number one place on my radar to unwind. Available by appointment only (and maximum 6 people to a time slot), #instaboyfriend and I were lucky enough to nab a time slot and experience the relaxation for ourselves.

On entering Cenote Casa Bathhouse, you’re met with the aroma of relaxation immediately. A comforting and light-filled waiting area greets you, along with the friendly smile of one of the Cenote team. After just walking off the busy and bustling street, the traffic and city noises are quickly forgotten and you’re transported to you own little place of paradise. You are encouraged to wear comfortable swimwear and the bathhouse is fitted with changing rooms for your use; removing all makeup is also recommended to get the best experience for your skin

Once you walk through that back door – paradise is on. You’re immediately surrounded in lush greenery and your own pathway to explore the space. At this point, the staff will show you the facilities, and complimentary fruit infused water and herbal tea are provided. Of course, we were there to try everything so our first stop was the hydrotherapy spa; designed to reduce muscle pains and tensions this felt like the best place to be after a long week. The spa is a comfortable space to fit 6 adults (probably best if you know each other), and I could actually feel my weekly worries melt away into the bubbling water. Somehow, even being so close to one of Brisbane busiest roads, you feel so removed from the noise and have a great view of the space from here.

Next stop was my first every steam room experience – and let me tell you this is not one to be missed! I’ll be honest here, to start with, it feels like the worst idea in the world if you’ve never experienced it before. Hot, really hot, and filled with steam? I wasn’t convinced. However after actually being inside for a few minutes – I got it. Sure, I was still hot and it was really steamy; but as my body sweated (and sweated some more) I realised just how good this was going to be for my skin especially for my face! Open up those pores, cleanse me! Steam rooms are also great to increase your circulation and reduce stress, so it’s the ultimate mood booster. The steam room was sitting around 50* on this occasion and we sat inside for about 15 minutes. It is recommended to use a steam room for no longer than 20 minutes at a time and you should always be conscious of your body, if you feel nauseous or dizzy, tap out.

After sweating away my worries I felt it was appropriate to use the outdoor shower. It’s like it’s own little oasis in the middle of the bathhouse with wooden panelling and luxe bath products for your use. Personally, I felt it was a good idea to wash away the heat and sweat that my body had just experienced before diving into the magnesium plunge pool. As someone who has suffered from eczema my entire life I was pretty pumped to try out this plunge pool – magnesium is super beneficial for skin conditions such as this and helps soothe and moisturise your body. But even without this, spending some time in the plunge pool has many health benefits – it helps relieve stress, detoxifies your skin, leaves your hair moisturised and helps increase your quality of sleep!

Our last stop was the cedar wood sauna, the design of the sauna gives of a delicious scent while you create your steam from the inside – allowing it to be as warm as you’d like. Saunas are also great for muscle recovery and promote healthy cardiovascular performance. They help cleanse the skin, flush toxins and relieve stress; so basically you are going to emerge from Cenote Casa Bathhouse a relaxed, glowing goddess with amazing skin, can’t complain right. Saunas an also help encourage a deer sleep – let me tell you I step so well that night!

Besides all these incredible facilities, the space also boasts lounger chairs and a beautiful pergola area designed for you to relax and unwind. We found it the perfect place to take a break, sip our tea and have a few chats while surrounded by the tranquillity.

Every inch of Cenote Casa Bathhouse has been thought through and designed to make you feel at ease from the moment you arrive. The experiences available allow you to really immerse yourself in the relaxation and embrace the luxurious surroundings – it’s nearly like being on holidays, but you can go every weekend! A two-hour time slot is $45 per person, and this includes full access to the space as well as towels and tea. While #instaboyfriend and I loved having some chill time together, this would also be an awesome place to hang with girlfriends and have a girls day out.

From the luxe styling to the body nourishing oils and products provided for use, you will leave Cenote Casa Bathhouse feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and re-inspired to tackle the world again.

 

*This experience was gifted for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

2020: the year of books

A few weeks ago I made a call out to my Instagram community to give me their suggestions and recommendations on their favourite novels. And boy, did they deliver! At the top of their list (and already high on my radar) was the Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – so I was super pleased when Santa Clause left it in my stocking.

Let me tell you – it is a page turner. Without giving too much away, the novel follows the story of Lale Sokolov, an extraordinary Jewish man, and his survival of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The stories and experiences are based on a true story – from the life of the real Lale, and his love (in the novel and in real life) Gita, with creative licenses taken to flesh out memories of combine timelines where necessary. I loved it and would definitely recommend a read, and a box of tissues.

If you’re anything like me, the beginning of the new year has prompted you to put at least 1 mildly achievable goal in place for the year (I’m not one really for resolutions), so I decided reading books it is. I’ve got a long long list of recommendations, and many requests to share those, so here it is. (In no particular order)

  1. Cilka’s Journey (is the sequel in this series) – Heather Morris
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  3. Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton
  4. The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals – Wendy Jones
  5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
  6. Between a Wolf and a Dog – Georgia Blain
  7. The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
  8. To The Bright Edge of the World – Eowyn Ivey
  9. Hunter – Jack Heath
  10. A Child Called ‘It’ – Dave Pelzer
  11. The Bronze Horsemen Trilogy – Paullina Simons
  12. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  13. Becoming – Michelle Obama
  14. The Girl from Munich – Tania Blanchard
  15. Suitcase of Dreams – Tania Blanchard
  16. The Book Ninja – Ali Berg
  17. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  18. The Alice Network –  Kate Quin
  19. The Huntress –  Kate Quin
  20. The Invitation – Belinda Alexander
  21. A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
  22. The Olive Grove – Deborah Rohan
  23. Ten Minutes, 38 Seconds in the Strange World – Elif Shafak
  24. Jessica – Bryce Cortany
  25. Marching Powder – Rusty Young
  26. Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedsi
  27. The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
  28. 1984 – George Orwell
  29. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
  30. The Dry – Jane Harper
  31. Force of Nature – Jane Harper
  32. Three Women – Lisa Toddaeo
  33. Your Own Kind of Girl – Calre Bowditch
  34. Eggshell Skull – Bri Lee
  35. The Trauma Cleaner – Sarah Krasnostein
  36. A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman
  37. The Natural Way of Things – Charlotte Wood
  38. Star Crossed – Minne Drake
  39. One of Us is Lying – Karen McManus
  40. One Day in December – Josie Silver

Forever New: Curve Review

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One of the most consistent questions I get asked by my community is ‘where can I buy formal wear?’ It seems that somewhere along the way retailers forgot that curvy women were also invited to balls, weddings and black tie functions – which normally leaves me at a loss for many options when trying to help other women. So, when I heard Forever New was launching a Curve Range I was beyond ecstatic. For me, Forever New had always been an unattainable brand; it made me think of romance, and floral and whimsical styles – that wouldn’t fit me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been very kindly gifted* a piece from this new range to review for you, to let you know all my thoughts on fit, fabric and just how flattering this range was going to be.

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I selected the Tori Sleeved Wrap Curve Dress, a classic black dress (also available in Orchid) as my first Forever New Curve piece. This dress is a faux wrap design (which means there’s no threat of accidental flashing) in a midi length, with loose flutter sleeve and an elastic waist. I choose to try the size 18, being a new range from a ‘straight size’ brand I was wary but hopeful that these styles really would be ‘true to size’ for all my curvy gals out there constantly ‘upsizing’ due to poor design. I’m pleased to report that I found the size guide provided spot on, and you can safely refer to it for online ordering. For myself,  both my hip and waist measurements actually fall under their size 16 style, however my bust measurement is between their 18 and 20 – so the 18 felt like a safe zone. I definitely have some room in this dress due to my sizing choice ( I might try a 16 next time), but that just means more room for cake – it feels comfortable and relaxed while still looking elegant and slimming, which is definitely a nice feeling if I were to attend an event filled with glamorous people.

The elastic waist band on this style means that the dress pulls in at the waist without being constricting or putting pressure on your tummy, it also means there is no need for uncomfortable zips, it simply slips on over your head. The sleeves are sheer and finish just above the elbow (perfect if you prefer to cover your upper arms), with the lining cutting a sleeveless shape through the shoulders and continuing all the way down to the hemline at the knee, so there’s no risk of seeing through the skirt. One of my favourite features is the way the material folds, falls and drapes through the bust, providing a flattering shape for any bust size.

Overall, the new Tori Wrap Dress was a huge win in my books. It made me feel elegant, hugged my curves in all the right places and gave me all those whimsical dreamy vibes that I’ve also lusted over from the Forever New brand. I’m pleased that they’ve exteded this brand style into their curve range to embrace their new customers. While currently only available online and from selected retailers, I’m pleased to see the brand take a step into the curvy market and start offering styles that are both a well designed and fashionable option for the curvy community. I’ve included some of my other favourite pieces below, and if you’ve tried the new Forever New Curve range, let me know what you think!

AllTerritories_OnBody_25986402_F5  AllTerritories_OnBody_25993901_F

AllTerritories_OnBody_25987102_F  AllTerritories_OnBody_25990701_F5

AllTerritories_OnBody_25988501_F5  AllTerritories_OnBody_25988701_F.jpg

*this item was gifted for review. All views are my own, whether negative or positive, I am not coerced in any way to provide a positive review of this item.

How to brighten up your Winter

We all have our favourite seasons. I find most people love summer – personally, I’m a winter baby. Give me layers and snuggling under blankets and a hot chocolate any day over being hot and sweaty and sun burnt. One of my main winter preferences is the fashion! Growing up I would always prefer a boot over a bikini, or a scarf over a singlet. That said, as I’ve developed my style, I’ve also found that I love summer dressing more and more. So much so that it’s nearly disappointing when winter rolls around I can’t show off my colourful dresses and sparkly sandals.

So it was this year that I decided I didn’t have to give up my sometimes OTT favourites during the colder months and that I was going to step up my winter style from black dresses and boring boots. Just in case you want to embrace the chill in fabulous style, I’ve included my top tricks on how to embrace your winter wardrobe and still express your style under 18 layers of clothing.

Add Colour. 

Adding bold colours is the perfect way to brighten up your dreary winter wardrobe and have your dreamer of warmer times. The best part is you can go as bright or as subtle as you want depending on your own personal style! Choose something bright and pair it back with other monochrome pieces, or if you’re game try layering colour on colour. Think neon pants, busy patterns and bold blazers, winter really is the best time to pull out those statement pieces and style them any way you like.

Pair a bright skirt (like below) with a plain long sleeve top and a denim jacket to keep it casual. Or add a bold pink blouse to these blue palazzo pants for some serious colour blocking. Pair this a busy and bright patterned dress back with simple black tights and boots for an easy standout look.

Create Texture.

Being able to wear so many layers (if you live anywhere cooler than it is in Brisbane) in winter, means that you can layer different textures and finishes for and interesting and exciting outfit. If you’re just dipping your toe into the world of a ‘non-black winter’ try adding this with your accessories and smaller details – before you jump all in with head to toe glitter.

Finishing your look with a textured rattan bag can be a great way to tie together a simple jeans + tee outfit. Or you could swap the boots for a sock and sandal style… but not just any old socks (you can check our the gorgeous @curvycartel absolutely rocking a sequined sock look). Speaking of sequins, a sequined jacket it the BEST way to combine all 3 ‘step up your winter’ tips, bright, sequins, layers – tick tick tick.

 

Embrace Exciting Layers. 

Winter is the perfect time to be able to print and colour clash as much as you like. Depending on where you live will depend on just how many layers you need, but luckily as long as there is a cool breeze, you will definitely be able to add a little something exciting to your winter look. Wearing multiple layers also makes it a lot easier to get away with mixing and matching bold items together (refer to trick 1), mainly because people are so cold and miserable your rainbow inspired outfit will make them so happy they’ll forgive you if you’ve fashion faux pas’d. 😉

If you’re embracing your new winter style, a bright or patterned coat is a fun start. Don’t be afraid to layer your bright colours it with other colours underneath or stick to a tonal trend and layer your colour of choice in shades! Once again adding a fun pattern to your layer is a great way to break up your comfortable muted style. You can slowly embrace your new winter style by layering a patterned cardigan over your black base, with a dark layer on top. Alternatively, spicing up you bottom layer is also a great option! Colourful yellow tights are the perfect way to add some sunshine to your day.

No matter how you prefer to inject some fun into your winter styling, there’s definitely options for the brave and the faint-hearted.

Happy Winter!

Kate xx

Product Review: Chase away the Chafe

As a curvy gal, I’ve had my fair share of uncomfortable moments. Trying to squeeze past people on the bus, trying to comfortably sit in a airline chair, trying to get a drink at a bar when the male bartender is ignoring me, and trying not to die when my inner thighs catch on fire from chafe. While some of these things are beyond my control and unfortunately probably never going to change, I’m happy to tell you that I am no longer going to catch alight from the friction between my legs (hint: it’s not the good kind).

Enter, Sonsee. A made in Italy, designed in Australia hosiery and intimates company founded by boss babe Vanessa. Coming from a background in pattern making and product development, Vanessa found a gap in the market for plus size women in with struggles of ill fitting and terrible quality items. Appearing in the first Australian episode of Shark Tank, the idea of Sonsee won the support of Red Balloon founder and entrepreneur Naomi Simson, and the rest is history – and now available for you to add to your wardrobe! 

Vanessa approached me to give the Sonsee Anti Chafing Shorts a try, and I was more than thrilled to be able to take them for a stroll. I have been following Sonsee as a company for over 12 months now, and always been intrigued to their curvy magic and unparalleled quality, but had not yet taken the plunge to purchase. Once receiving these shorts, I cannot believe I waited so long! *instantly adds half the products to my cart.

The product description claims below:

  • made from lightweight and breathable fabric, that smooths, but doesn’t shape.
  • made to wear in comfort all day long with a supportive waistband and leg bands.
  • zero ugly panels and no digging.

I popped my shorts on for a day that I knew was going to involve lots of walking and running errands, as I know this is when my love of dresses lets me down, by the end of the day my thighs burn! It was also a weekend and I had #instaboyfriend and my two beautiful step kids in tow, so full run around mode.

The first thing I noticed was that they were no where near as tight or as uncomfortable as a normal hideous pair of ‘suck me ins’. I put them on easily and without resistance and they sat at about belly button height to mid thigh on me (note: I have seriously short legs, so they may even be a little shorter on a regular vertically proportioned human). This also meant they were really easy to wear all day long with out digging in or being uncomfortable, and super easy to get on and off for bathroom breaks. I found the fabric and design, paired with  the length of the shorts gave me a great line. I wore a relaxed tee dress that would normally cling to my hips a little when I move, and found I had no visible lines or bulges under my dress. I found the length would sit comfortably under most of my dresses (excluding maybe a couple of mini party dresses that I might own), and there would be no reason I could not LIVE in this product for ultimate comfort.

My number one concern and aspect that I wanted to put to the test was if the ‘shorts’ part of the shorts rolled up. I always find with regular shape-wear or intimate style shorts, that because of the shape of my legs – chunky right the the top, with an indent where they meet my pelvis (welcome to my anatomy) – that the bottom hemline in this sort of style always seems to bunch and roll up my thigh, over the chunk, and then sit in my bikini line, which creates a worse line than if I had metal armour underneath my dress. However, I am pleased to report I did NOT have that trouble with the Sonsee short! This is actually my favourite thing about this product. They did not move. All day. I went to the grocery store, did some house work, even went to the park and played on one of those spinning merry-go-round things. The shorts stayed exactly where I put them on at 8am, and did not roll, bunch, or catch on fire due to rubbing, at any time until I took them off at 6pm. And in the Queensland heat I had them on all day and didn’t feel like they were effecting my body temperature at all.

In an official review capacity, I am giving them exactly 5 stars, as I could not fault them at all! In fact now I simply feel like I need every other Sonsee product that I was dreaming about, because they’re all going to be just as life changing. If you’re a girl suffering from chafe – and let me stress – chafe is not exclusive to the curvy community, it’s just one step closer to being a mermaid; this product is definitely worth a try.

I’m wearing a size GORGEOUS 14-16 (which my hips measurement falls at the bottom of the size guide recommendation) for the purpose of this review.

 

*The views expressed in this product review are 100% my own. I was gifted product at the retail value of $49.95 for the purpose of this blog post, I was not paid to provide a positive product review, or forced to submit my content for approval from the brand.

 

This is a blog about hard work.

This is not a blog about weightloss.
This is not a blog about dieting.

This is not a blog that is magically going to make you fitter, smarter or healthier. Because all of those things take hard work. So if you’re interested; this is a blog about hard work.

If you have been following me regularly on my social channels (mainly Instagram), you may have noticed I’m cutting a slightly slimmer silhouette these days. Have I been questioned about surgery? Yes. Have I been questioned as to why I’m losing weight? Yes. Have I been questioned on my place in the ‘plus size’ community? Also yes.

But the big one. Why did I decide to change my lifestyle. My answer is really simple. It was time.

I’m verging on 27 and I have a list of health conditions that are suited to a 45 year old. I have blood sugar results that were through the roof, and other test results that just kept getting worse and worse. My fasting glucose reading (this is part of a diabetes diagnosis) was at it’s highest 8.0, after making some massive changes it was 4.6 at my last test. For me this was REALLY about my health. It was time to make a change; for myself, for my family, for the family I want to have. People keep asking me what I’ve done, or how I’ve done it; and writing this isn’t so much for me as it is for you. It’s for that woman who feels like she could never lose weight, the one that feels she’s too far gone and there is no point in trying, or that she won’t be able to do any of the workouts at the gym anyway, or could never give up wine. I was that woman, and I did it any way. Hard, yes. But worth it.

I made the decision to focus on my health at a time of desperation. I was desperate to look after myself, to feel comfortable with myself again, to feel good about myself again. I realised I needed to seek out a Dietitian who was going to be able to help me take the first step towards living  a healthier lifestyle and was lucky enough (through a friend’s recommendation) to find Amie at Target Nutrition. I vowed to myself that I would be 100% honest with her on how terrible I was eating, what my REAL eating habits were (including all the secret snacking) and how badly I really just needed help. I remember saying to her on my first appointment ‘I just don’t know what to put in my mouth anymore’. After years of dieting and food plans and cutting out food groups, I felt like I had forgotten what types of food valuable nutrition even came from, and what my body actually needed. Amie’s careful listening and planning meant that she was able to provide me with a curated meal plan (with several options for meals at each time of day), that was perfect for me and my lifestyle. Her support, understanding, and realism (a Dietitian that can acknowledge that sometimes chocolate falls into your mouth, is one every women needs), was exactly what I needed to convince myself that I could commit to the plan that she had provided. In my mind it was the thought process of ‘this may be hard, but living life the old way is harder’. In the first 3 months I made the decision to completely cut out chocolate, alcohol and take away meals, and found this ‘cold turkey’ approach, the easiest way to manage my cravings. Coming from a serious choco-holic, this was a pretty serve change to my life style, and yes, there were days when it was extremely hard and all I wanted to do was demolish a block of chocolate, but as I said, this is a blog about hard work. So I went cold turkey on the good stuff, but for me, this was the best way to resist temptation; I have one piece of cake and ‘oh, another won’t hurt’. I have one row of chocolate and ‘oh, it’s open now, I may as well finish it’. After the initial first few months I became easier on myself, and now still include wine and sweet treats in my diet.

One of the most life changing pieces of advice I received from Amie, was to change up my exercise. That for my types of conditions (PCOS and Type 2 Diabetes) and the type of fat I was trying to move, I needed to be exercising in a way that combined cardio with weights to really see results. Now, for someone who was walking around at a size 20/22, and hadn’t been to a gym in many years, this was a terrifying prospect. But that’s the point, terrified or not, I needed to make a change. I had heard of the 12Rounds program through friends and felt like maybe this style of working out was the style Amie had mentioned. So I signed up for a trial week with a induction appointment the coming Wednesday. Wednesday morning came around, I’d barely slept as I was so riddled with anxiety, I turned my alarm off, cried, and went back to sleep. That night I spoke with my partner about how I couldn’t do it and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to step foot in that gym, that people were going to laugh at me, and I wasn’t going to be able to do the exercises. The next night I went in to the gym, sat in my car for twenty minutes and gave myself a stern talking to, forgot to change my shoes as I was so stressed (I ended up doing my first workout in a pair of Frankie4 Nat’s, instead of sneakers), and I walked into 12rounds Greenslopes and went through a whole workout with one of the trainers. Looking back now, I was right about the exercises, there were definitely some I couldn’t do. But also, no one was laughing at me, no one was looking at me, and I’d completed my workout without dying (dramatic but true). Now, I aim to exercise at the gym at least 4 times a week, and I aim to run myself ragged every time I am there. I wen’t from a girl who couldn’t get out of bed at 7.30am to one that now gets up at 5am, do I like it? NO. I hate mornings. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

I get a lot of questions about my experience at 12rounds and the type of workouts that I do and how hard it is. The beauty of it is that it is as hard as you want it to be. When I first started, it was so hard! I could barely breathe at the end of each round (there’s 12 x 3 minute rounds). But again, this is about the hard. Now, I make sure I pick up a heavier weight, I run a littler further (lol jks, I hate running, but you get the point), I do the harder version of the exercise to push myself just a little bit further each time. It is always hard, but that’s why I’ve seen such a great turnaround in my strength and body shape.

For those who are extra curious, I even filmed today’s workout, to show you what it is all about. You can check it out the full version (in super fast forward so you’re not sitting through 45 minutes of workout) below. I’ve included the first minute of two of each round, so you can see the different exercises. I’m aware that my videography is atrocious, this is a super unflattering angle, and I look like a hot mess when I’m working out; but this is real life, this is what I’ve been doing behind the scenes, and this is what has been working for me.

My goals now, are to keep going. I still have a little way to go to reach my ‘ideal’ waist measurement (this is where I store a lot of my fat, and it can be dangerous for my organs) and of course I would love to bring all of my blood levels back into normal ranges (we’re so close!). I want my body to be in it’s best possible shape to start a family, and to encourage myself to live a long and happy life. I’m not exactly sure what any of these goals look like physically, but I suppose I will find out when I get there.

This is my story, so far. I wanted to share it just in case you were curious, or just in case you needed to believe in something.

kate

 

How to have a beach body.

What’s your favourite thing about summer? Mangoes? Camping? Cricket? While I’m partial to any of the above (albeit the latter two are preferred in small doses), mine is the beach! I love the ocean, I love being in the water and lying on the sand. My family spent nearly every holiday break at the beach, and still do to this day! So imagine my confusion as a young girl when I realised that I (according to the media and social expectation )didn’t have the perfect ‘beach body’. That swimwear didn’t look all that great on me. And that I should probably be ashamed to be on the beach because I wasn’t a size 8. Oh the turmoil inside my little adolescent head.

As a women, there will come a time in your life, whether it’s with friends, family, a prospective partner, or even (gasp) with complete strangers; that you will have to put on swimwear. I personally, love a good swim suit, bikini’s, one pieces, you name it and I’m in to it. I can hear you asking; how do you love swim wear as a plus size woman!?

The first step: reassuring yourself that your body is beach ready.  I’m glad to say that I am at a place that I have decided; I don’t care, I will have fun, and I will wear super cute swimwear pieces to live my best life in. Sadly, I know many women who still don’t feel that way. Women worry about what other people are thinking of them in their swimwear or miss out on all the family fun in the water because they don’t want to take their top off. It really is time to stop missing out, to stop caring, to embrace life and summer and everything that is on offer and just enjoy yourself! I normally enjoy myself a lot better when I look great, so I’ve pulled together some of my favourite swimwear brands and styles to help you rock your body on the beach this summer.

Active Truth. Swimwear designed by active wear enthusiasts who know how to create garments that can withstand the toughest workout? You can guarantee that these babies will hold and mould you exactly where you want it to. I personally cannot choose between their Zip Up Swimsuit 2.0 and the High Waisted Bikini/Zip Up Crop combo, so naturally I have both. Both of these styles are super flattering and give great shape to your body particularly in the waist. The high waisted bottoms are similar in design to their tights so they have great stomach support. I also really love the zip feature as a detail, so you can make them as ‘va va voom’ as you like (or as is appropriate depending on your company). Both of these styles go up to a 3XL (or AU size 26) and a super stretchy and flattering.

SunSoaked Swimwear. Sophisticated flattering swimwear and resort wear that also provides sun protection. That’s a huge YES from me in our Aussie summers. Think fabulous prints and flirty style swimsuits. I love that these provide just that little bit of extra coverage on the shoulders while still being super cute and feminine. The Bree Half Sleeve One Piece and the Janie Ruffle Sleeve One Piece are just two of the gorgeous styles available from this brand and both have detailed ruching across the stomach which is perfect for those of us who like a slimming silhouette across our middle.

Lilly & Lime. Calling all bigger busted ladies! Marketed as ‘swimwear for a D-cup and up’! Now that’s a tagline. Lilly & Lime is founder by 2 fabulous Brisbane ladies providing cute swimwear for big boobies. They have plenty of mix and match options both in colour and style, so you can choose exactly the shapes that work for you. My pick is definitely the Full Cup and High Neck Tops, paired with the High Waisted or Full Brief. I love the ability to pick exactly the right style to suit you and your personality, and they do virtual sizes checks through their website, it really is a one stop shop!

Curvy by Capriosca Swimwear. Specifically design with curvy women in mind, Curvy swimwear is your godsend. Clever details such as a lower leg rise, wider shoulder straps, panelling and rushing means that these styles will enhance your natural figure. THey’re massive range includes pretty pastel florals, bold sports chic designs, retro shapes and much more. I have been drooling over this Luxe Sport Mesh Tank One Piece (the red one please, if anyone needs a last minute Christmas idea for me 😉 ) for months, and adore the high neck mesh to keep the ladies in for a big day at the beach. Their stunning Geo Stripe Long Sleeve One Piece is also a winner for ladies looking for a little extra coverage while staying stylish!

So weather you’re headed to the beach, pool, creek or sprinkler in your backyard. Make sure you put on a swimsuit, enjoy time with your family, and have a little fun this summer. All of these swimsuits also go really nicely with a cocktail in hand once you’ve gotten out of the water.

Happy summer! xx

kate

 

One Dress : Three Ways

How many dresses do you own? 3? 15? 108? Although I haven’t counted exactly, I can guarantee you that I am leaning towards the latter number. The good news for you is: 108 dress is totally unnecessary and my collection is verging on ridiculous. The bad news for me is: 108 dress is totally unnecessary and my collection is verging on ridiculous.

Among these many, many dresses taking up space in my walk in wardrobe are casual day time dresses, date night dresses, dresses for work, dresses for after work drinks that are still appropriate to wear to work, family function dresses, getting dressed up with girlfriends dresses – basically, a new one for every occasion. But what if I told you that actually, I’m excessive (see point in paragraph one). And really, if you can find yourself fitting, flattering and gorgeous dresses that you can wear over and over again, that is the real winner.  Luckily, I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with the beautiful ladies at Leina Broughton, who just happen to be a leading designer in these mystical fitting, flattering and gorgeous dresses that we seek. Not only are their dresses Australian made, they’re designed in gorgeous soft jersey fabrics meaning they hug and slim your curves in all the right places. With sizes ranging from a 8 – 22, these styles are exactly what you need for that dress that you can where any where and every where – and turn heads every time.

From the LB collection, I managed to choose (from an impeccable selection) the beautiful Jada Dress, which ticks all my boxes for a versatile dress. Colour. Shape. Detail.

  1. A colour you can wear any where. For me, black is always a fail safe. If you’re a curvier lady, it tends to nearly always be a flattering colour, and I find black a versatile colour for day or night, professional or party.
  2. A flattering shape for your figure. Each to their own on this one, but personally I find a pencil skirt super flattering between my waist and my hips, and feel that you can change the style quite dramatically by layering other items over the top.
  3. A fun design detail. Something that catches your attention, that you can make a feature of or dress down if necessary. The sleeves and neckline on the Jada dress mean that you can wear them ‘as is’, or add a vest or jacket to style it differently.

So, while all this talk of 1 dress to rule them all is very inspiring (I’m sure), I’ve also styled it up so show you how I do 1 dress, 3 ways. 

Casual. To dress this down I’ve added sneakers and a denim jacket, you could also do this with a cute slogan t-shirt, knotted at the waist. I love that you can still see the neck detail through the jacket (or you could add a long line vest), and that the slim line skirt paired with sneakers creates a bit of a sports luxe look.

Workwear. This is the perfect style to take you from desk to dinners any day of the week. I’ve changed it up by layering a patterned a-line skirt on top, to create contrast and a completely new shape for the style. By styling it as more of a ‘top’ the beautiful flutter sleeves make a huge statement, and matched with the flowing skirt are super flattering on the arms.

Dinner. On this occasion I felt that the Jada really could make enough of a statement on it’s own. It’s the perfect date night dress (my boyfriend agreed), flattering, elegant, and super comfortable so I could have 2 desserts (note: important). I’ve styled it back with matching black heels and some sparkly earrings to keep it classic.

Now I’m going to go clean out my 108 dresses in my wardrobe.

kate

 

 

 

 

(This content is not paid or sponsored in any way. This dress was kindly gifted to me on a ‘need to use’ basis for the purpose of content. )

When to wear a jumpsuit.

Question: When do I wear a jumpsuit? Answer: Always!

In my books, it is always the right time for a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits are the power suit of street style; they demand respect. Every woman wants to be the woman ‘in that jumpsuit’. They walk the line between casual and fancy, you can dress them up with heels or throw on sneakers to run out of the house. Basically, I think jumpsuits are the best! Yet, I feel like they’re one of those styles that curvy women are scared of! Well, good news! Spring is just around the corner (perfect jumpsuit season) and when the ladies at Pretty Little Thing contacted me about getting my curvy self into some of their jumpsuits, I thought there was no better time. So, I’m going to hold your hand through the world of jumpsuits and give you my best tips and tricks on when to wear them, and how to make sure they’re the most flattering for you body type.

I’m very picky about my jumpsuits, so like anything piece of clothing I choose, it has to meet my very important criteria.

It needs to be:

  • Long in the body (there’s nothing worse than seeing a jumpsuit ride all up in your lady bits)
  • A flattering length in the leg (don’t choose something the awkwardly cuts you off)
  • Not too fitted in the stomach area ( this is where I carry most of my weight, so that’s a personal choice)
  • Easy to get in and out of when I need the bathroom (cause, duh)
  • The trick is simply finding one that ticks all these boxes! And when you do, the possibilities are infinite.

The Daytime Jumpsuit.

Perfect for a casual lunch, shopping trip, or day trip with the girls, the day time jumpsuit is an easy to wear thigh to calf length style. It’s something you can easily wear with sneakers, layer with a denim jacket and pair with you favourite sunnies or straw bag. I’ve chose this PLT Ice Grey Wide Leg jumpsuit as the perfect daytime option. The wide leg means that it looks great with flats, I like the thick straps so I can wear a supportive bra underneath, and the lace up front adds just the right amount of fun! Also this grey/lilac colour is perfect for spring. I did find this clung to my middle just a tad, however with some great underwear everything is right in the world. I also sized up to a 26 (going off the Pretty Little Thing size guide), as buying jumpsuits online can be risky business. which was slightly big in the bust area so I did have to alter it to sit correctly.

The Event Jumpsuit.

Stuck on the perfect dress for your ladies lunch, fundraising event or high tea. Easy, choose a jumpsuit! Something that pulls in at the waist to accentuate your figure, with feminine details like bows, frills or ruching is a perfect choice. I went with this Polka Dot Split Leg style. The black and white creates a classic look, and by belting it in the middle I’ve pulled the details in at my waist to accentuate my curves. I also love the split as the front, as I have very short legs, wearing something from neck to ankle could make my body look super short, but with this front split my legs actually look longer! (Which is always a win) I also ended up wearing this (in a 26), but had to wear it a lot higher than the model because I found it so long in the body. Wearing it with a super high neckline made it for my body just a little bit better, don’t be afraid to alter your clothing to suit you!

The Wine Time Jumpsuit.

Heading out with girlfriends, or got a Saturday night date planned? Go a jumpsuit. Be daring. Take a risk. Be able to dance the night away with no worries in the world. Whether it’s a bright pattern, a fun colour or a new style, a jumpsuit on a night out just gives me that piece of mind that I’m not going to flash the entire club when I’m dancing like my life depends on it at 2am. (Jks. I’m never out till 2am, just call me Cinderella and tuck me in by midnight). I took a chance, I went with the Black Floral Tie Playsuit, and it was RISQUÉ! But boy oh boy am I loving it. I love the way it shows off my curves, having the waist tie means in pulls in the accentuate my shape. I played it safe with black but I love the pops of colour from the floral pattern. It took a little work (and a lot of strapping tape) to keep the girls in and up, but I can assure you it was worth it. This style is definitely a head turner and so much fun!

So go on, get spring ready and get yourself into a jumpsuit. Make sure you chose styles that are both flattering and comfortable, but have fun with it! Don’t let your size keep you out of the jumpsuit game!

XX

kate

Disclaimer: These three jumpsuits from Pretty Little Thing we’re kindly gifted to me. I adhered to the PLT size guide and selected a 26 in each style. Please remember these are mass produced garments and this size is not reflective of your worth. I definitely could of sized down, however I made the decisions to alter the styles so I felt more comfortable, instead of worry about them being too small.