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Live Unlimited in Summer | FASHION

I love a bit of sunshine but the heat kills me, I can't handle it when I'm too hot and I become quite the grump! So when the Summer hits the UK I like to make sure I keep nice and cool in my outfit to avoid any unwanted meltdowns whilst I'm out and about.  As a plus size girl it can be daunting to get your flesh out in public, but time has taught me that no one really cares all that much about your upper arm fat or whether you think you look silly in shorts so embracing the skimpier things in life is the way forward!
Lately I've been more inclined towards simpler clothing looks that are well cut and have a good shape whilst being practical for what I want to do that day.  On this day, I was exploring a local estate house with friends and enjoying the sunshine on the grass (with hopefully a callipo or two!), so I opted for a pair of distressed cropped jeans and a sheer top with a pair of sandals.

These jeans were a purchase from the Evans store in Dublin a couple of years ago and by far are my favourite cropped jeans, they're stretchy and fit tightly to my legs rather than sagging (which I struggle on some of the boyfriend fit jeans on the plus size market).  Luckily, Evans still sell these babies so if you're after a pair then I recommend you grab them here!
Being a taller girl can often mean I miss out of some of the trousers and jeans on the highstreet, simply because they are too short and there's no way I'd wear ankle grazers without it being a deliberate style choice.  However cropped jeans, I love.  They are perfect for the Summer and can be dressed up for a warm night out in the beer garden or down for a day out with the family.

Sheer tops are also a go to for me, I find them to be effortlessly chic and easy to wear without having a shed led of fabric clinging to your body.  This beauty is from Live Unlimited and it's been part of my wardrobe for the better part of two years now, the quality of the top has meant it's stood the test of time so whilst it is a little pricier than your budget high street shop (I'm looking at you Primark) it won't fall apart in the washing machine.  
I like this poppy kaftan in their current range at the moment!

Team those with a  pair of shades and an ice cream to get that perfect Summer look, no one wants to be sweltering in a cardigan to cover up their arms so let those babies go free and live your life.  Make this summer the one you embrace your body and care a little bit less about what others think about your body, it's yours to do with as you wish and wear what you wish.  As Eleanor Roosevelt once said 'No one can make you'll inferior without your consent'.  


How To Do Amsterdam In One Day | TRAVEL

Travel is food for the soul, it forces you to embrace other cultures, learn about and see things you'd never get sitting on the sofa in your home and develop your own self reliance.  Whenever I come back from a trip to another country I feel peaceful and full of inspiration, so I try to do it whenever I can afford to do so.  The practicalities of that mean that if you work a full time job you're limited to the amount of days annual leave you can take, you can be earning a good wage and afford to go on a holiday every week if you so wished but you're bound by your commitments at home.  For this reason, I love short trips and weekend breaks are the perfect way to get 24 hours in another country to fix that travel buzz.
Recently I booked a mini-cruise to Amsterdam to spend 24 hours in the Dutch capital, and I tried to cram as much in as possible to make it worthwhile.  I spent a bit of time researching on my favourite travel blogs and YouTube channels what was an absolute must to see and came up with an itinerary for our trip.  So, here's my perfect way to spend 24 hours in Amsterdam!

9AM - Breakfast
Start the day with a Dutch breakfast, pancakes are a speciality around here so make sure you grab some with your morning coffee.  There are cafes in Centraal that sell these, but I prefer to grab some from a food stall and eat on the move as it's cheaper and more time efficient! Snaffle these down whilst you head on over to a tram ticket kiosk and buy the 24 hour tram pass for €7.

10:30AM - The Anne Frank House Museum
Take a short walk through Dam Square to get to the Anne Frank Museum and enjoy the most popular museum in the country.  Known for diary writings, Anne Frank's story is one of sorrow and cultural importance, pay the €9 entrance fee and see where her Jewish family hid away from the Nazi's during the War before she was found.  It's a moving exhibition and not one to be missed, the experience should take you around 90 minutes to get around and 15 minutes to queue if you've pre-booked.  Make sure you pre-book your tickets, you can't rock up on the day and get in before 2PM and it's been known to have  long line daily.  Pick them up here.

12:30PM - Canals
Coming out of the museum you will notice you're right by a canal, so delve deeper into the streets and discover!  Amsterdam is packed with canals and it's safe to get lost in the back streets, the Dutch are a friendly population and willing to help you if you need direction... but my favourite part of travelling is getting lost.

2:30PM - Lunch
As you're in the area, it would be rude not to try out out some delicious Dutch food for lunch.  You can either pop over to the food halls in the Jordaan District or nip into one of the many cafes in the backstreets of the canals.  We opted for a cafe not far from the tram line (so we could slowly walk back with full tummies afterwards) and chose to have traditional Dutch lunch - bitterballen and kroketten.  Bitterballen are Dutch meatballs in a breadcrumbs, traditionally served with a dip and some pickles, whilst kroketten are a type of croquette with veal and potato served with breads and pickles.  Both were blinking delicious and washed down with a perfect coffee!  We sat in the cafe for a while and admired the interior, which looked someone's living room in the 1800's.

4:30PM - Riijksmuseum & IAmsterdam Sign
The Riijksmuseum boasts an impressive collection of Van Gough, Rembrandt and Vemeer and is one of the most visited museum in Western Europe.  If you're into your art and only have time to visit one place then I recommend paying the €17.50 entrance fee to get in, however if you're happy with some photos of the building for your Instagram then I suggest moving on.  The museum has one of the city's 'IAmsterdam' signs, which is part of the tourist board's marketing campaign, so make sure you get a shot of this before moving on.

6:30PM - Heineken Experience
One thing my partner wanted to do whilst we were in the city was visit the Heineken Experience, which is a short walk away from the museums.  For €16.50 you get two drinks and the interactive experience as your ticket, which is well worth the cash!  I wasn't overjoyed at the thought of this as I don't drink beer, but went along with it as a good sport, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and I learnt how to drink beer properly so now I don't mind the taste of it at all!  
The experience has lots of interactive activities to get involved with, including photo booths and green screen video to take away with you, finishing up with a drink in the subzero bar afterwards.  Don't miss this, it was fantastic!

8:30PM - Red Light District
Finally, it's not a trip to Amsterdam without checking out the Red Light District so hop on a tram to get across the city.  Photography and filming are strictly prohibited here, so put away your mobile phone and cameras unless you want one of the security chaps to start an argument with you.  We found it a really bizarre experience to see women advertising their services in the windows but it was certainly interesting, I recommend grabbing a drink and people watching.  

Finally, when time's up, grab a tram back to your ferry or train and flick through your photos on your phone before planning your next trip here with a longer amount of time.  There is so much to do in Amsterdam that you can't get bored, the above is literally a whistlestop of the highlights but there is so much we just didn't cover so another trip is on our cards!

Those Summer Nights | FASHION

I throw off the sheets and fight with the eternal battle of fan on or off during the night in the Summer. The cool flannel is my friend and my hot water bottle of a boyfriend is banished to the most western side of the bed whilst I spread eagle on cool sheets.  Summer nights are not my friend, and always struggle between wearing just enough to be 'decent' whilst I sleep and remaining cool enough to actually drift off.  After a number of years I've learnt the key to the right pair of pyjamas in such times, and below are my current top 4 picks on the high street for plus size babes!

Shorts and sleeveless shirts are my go to, they're easy to lounge around in and great for kicking off the covers in bed.  Planning a wedding means I'm automatically drawn to anything bride related in clothing and during the wedding season these Team Bride pj's must fly off the shelf so grab them quickly if you like the look of them!  Just £8 at George at Asda.
If you're more of a marvel girl at heart and enjoy some pastel shades then these are the ones for you, Simply are selling these loose top and Wonder Woman shorts for just £20 - how super cute are they?
When the temperature really ramps up though I need to wear as little as I can get away with when the window's open, normally a vest top and pant combo.  Luckily George at Asda has some handy coordinating sets for pocket change (just £6!) for you to pick from, I like these corn powder blue ones.
Finally, if you're looking for some luxury ladies nightwear then look no further than this black lace and sateen chemise from New Look, the silky fabric will slip over your skin and flitter about in the cool breeze from the window - a steal at £17.99.

I hope that helps you in your Summer night fight, if all else fails then throw yourself into a cold shower and then ditch the clothes completely... just close the window! 

Am I Too Fat For Disney? | YOUTUBE

One of the most frequent questions I get on my social media and YouTube channel is 'am I too fat to go to Disney'?  It links into the overwhelming anxiety I had myself on the lead up to our Florida holiday in 2015 and the mortifying moment when you just know you're about to get thrown off a ride in front of fifty or so other people because you didn't fit.  It's the ultimate walk of fat shame and I fretted like crazy over it, so I completely understand why this conversation comes up time and time again.  
I've been thinking about what I wanted from my research when I was obsessively surfing the web on Disney forums and articles on seat sizes,... I didn't want someone to tell me that the park should cater for me as a paying customer and to be proud of my body - I wanted a video or blog that would tell me, point blank, yes you will fit on this ride or no you will not on this ride.  There was an element of self preservation and reassurance that I needed, but alas there was none out there.  
Although, I did find out the term for a fat person at Disney is 'Pooh sized'.  Even Disney has a magical spin of being a chubster! Love it!

So, here we are, I'm just a girl who was in the same boat two years ago as you are now, who made a video in the hopes it will help someone else out there.  Below is the video I created listing the top ten rides in Disney with seat photos and discussions surrounding fit.  I hope this helps you, if you have stumbled upon my page through the same obsessive research train I was on too!  

Remember, you paid a lot of cash to get to Florida - don't let the worries put you off enjoying it.  You'll be completely fine!

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