A UK based plus size fashion and lifestyle blog, covering areas such as personal style, fashion events, food, travel and more. Fashion, Fatshion, plus size, plussize, UK, blog, blogger, lifestyle. (Formerly MrsBeBeBlog).
I was introduced to Kasbah Clothing around two weeks ago... within that time I have fallen in love with their clothes and am proud to have them as a client on my freelance books too. The re-birth of the brand is in its infancy, but in its former lives, Kasbah has been around for over 20 years now (you can read more about the plus size brand here).
Designer and founder, Heather Benhrima is passionate about the importance of well-designed, well-fitted clothes. And even more excitingly, Kasbah Clothing is available in sizes 12-30 and consists of loose fitting linens and soft jerseys, perfect for holidays, summer months - the epitome of relaxed style.
I'm currently working with a few bloggers to bring you reviews, which in my humble (blogger bias haha) opinion is the greatest way for the customer to get a better understanding of the choice available, the fabrics and how the fit is. So who better to kick things off than me... (well I'm sure there's plenty of people far more qualified, but you're here now, so let's crack on!)
I couldn't not team it with jeans, classic innit? The tunic style is relaxed in cut and fit. I'm wearing the 20/22 and was worried it might not be loose enough, but I really needn't. It's a great fit, plenty of room and this particular style has stretch fabric for extra movement.
Just take this pic in for a second... What do you see? Sand, grass, clouds... NO my friends, you see pockets! Yesssss pockets! How blooming exciting is that? Nowhere near enough clothes have pockets in them so this is an absolute revelation.
A top like this is so versatile. Tuck it into high waist trousers and add heels for a more dressy look. A crisp, chic white shirt never goes out of style. And that really is the beauty of Kasbah clothing, wearable styles that won't go out of fashion.
I've popped some of my top picks below too... or should I say lust list?
L-R Tokyo || Rolanda || Trance - modelled by the fabulous designer herself - Heather Benhrima.
Taking a break doesn't always mean travelling halfway across the country, or the world for that matter. Sometimes, the most relaxing and valuable of breaks can be found on your doorstep. Take this weekend for example. Me and the girls travelled from near and far to metropolis of the north, Hull, to stay at the sublime and oh-so stylish, Hideout Hotel.
Photo Credit: Hull Hideout Hotel
HULL?!! I hear you cry. Yes Hull!! Really. Just a 3/4 of an hour drive from that other gem in the northern crown, glorious Grimsby... (okay I may be pushing it now but it's home), is Hull. Nestled on the north bank of the River Humber, this thriving, vibrant city was awarded City of Culture in 2017 and the lasting mark that accolade has left on the city is plain to see across its landscape.
Firstly, let me explain, me and 'the girls' are blogging babes Em, Violet, Steph and Charl. Over our many combined years in blogging, we just kind of ended forming this friendship which, I have to say, brings me nothing but utter joy. And along with that, we organise little getaways, weekends together and later on in the year something a bit more exciting! <Watch This Space>. We're all in very different places in our lives and very different people for that matter, but we have this no-holds-barred, full on frank relationship which is refreshing AF.
Anyway, I digress...
I arrived at Hideout an hour or so earlier than the rest of the gang, so I had a good old poke around the apartment, and when I say poke, I mean, walked around in utter awe. This place is everything I would want in my dream home. It's mid-century-modern meets luxury loft apartment.
Enjoying the peace and quiet, from what frankly has been a turbulent few weeks, I took a moment to put on the kettle (hello Yorkshire tea bags and milk in the fridge), and enjoyed a cuppa on the window seat overlooking the grand Hull Minster. Blissful.
The beauty of Hide Out Hull is that every little detail has been taken into consideration, from the tea and coffee facilities (local brewed coffee of course), to the snack packs, the cute pin badges, the easel and crayons for your creative needs, right through to ear plugs by the bed.
The rooms are spacious and luxurious, the decor is beyond cool, as is the building itself. If you are looking for accommodation in Hull, I cannot recommend the Hide Out highly enough. It's situated right in the heart of old town, just a stones throw from the shopping areas, theatres and venues, and possibly my favourite area of Hull, the Fruit Market. Right on the harbour, Humber Street and the Fruit Market area are home to amazing eateries and artisan food producers, live music, pop up markets and cute boutiques.
Hide Out is definitely my go-to accommodation for whenever I'm next in Hull. In fact I can't wait to go back and relax in this little serene spot right in the heart of one of my favourite cities.
**Our overnight stay was gifted. As always, all words and opinions are solely mine**
Hey all, or should I say "Ola!" - it's been a couple of weeks since Scott and I got back from our trip to Menorca. So I thought I ought to share some of my holiday style essentials with you. Those who follow me on social media will have seen some snaps from our week in the sun. And despite me being ill the whole time, we had such a relaxing, gorgeous week.
This was the first time I had travelled abroad with only hand luggage, so I was a little nervous about what to pack and what not to pack. I consulted my travel guru Em who told me it was all about the shoes - travel in trainers and pack one daytime shoe and one evening shoe. Which is what I did. And sound advice it was.
Gratuitous scenery shot
Further to this, I decided, to avoid any massive style disasters I would stick to a monochromatic wardrobe so I could swap and match pieces with ease. Which, on paper, sounds like a great idea. Needless to say, for someone who loves mixing it up - style-wise, it got a little bit boring and depressing by the end of the week.
Wardrobe lacking in colour? Find a bright wall instead. Dress [Gifted] - Yoek
BUT for those of you who want ease of packing, no headaches and a low maintenance holiday wardrobe, it really was fuss free AF. And I can definitely recommend picking a tonal colour palette for for easy peasy packing.
I wanted to share a couple of my triumphs though. Firstly, footwear. I usually stick to my faithful Crocs - NO not those sort - but their basic flip flop. I fancied a change though and as a Birkenstock fan also, I wanted to give their lightweight eva style range a go. Believe me, on the first day I was cursing them and looking for crocs stockists in Menorca, but with a little adjustment, wearing in and some help from my Ivyvedure chaffing stick(V good for the old chub rub too), I was good to go. By the second day they were like a second skin thankfully.
My second holiday must-have was this ASOS trapeze dress. Honestly, I just felt so chic in it and wore it for both day time and evening. It's incredibly generous so feel free to size down at least once (I didn't but you totally could).
Toiletries-wise I took a couple of smaller bits in my bag (there's a 100ml liquid limit in the UK on hand luggage) and we bought sun cream from the Superdrug at the airport once we'd got through security. I'm glad we did to be honest as, Menorca, beautiful as it is, on the whole, is not that cheap.
I'd love to hear your top tips for economical packing. I'm hoping to dramatically up my travel game this year both personally and here on the blog. So watch this space.
**Post contains affiliate links. Which means I earn a little bit of commission if you're so inclined to click through and purchase something.**
Those of you who know me well, know I'm pretty good at embracing my feelings. In fact, some would say maybe a little too good. I feel deeply, I react with vigour, I love with every fibre of my being. But just lately my life has changed dramatically and as such, I think I've been neglecting my feelings a little bit.
Hmmmm. To be quite honest, I call bullshit. Change can be incredibly positive, but it definitely isn't as good as a rest. In fact, as queen embracer of feelings, I find all change, good or bad, utterly exhausting.
You may have noticed I've been a little absent on the blog-front and social media for that matter. About 8 weeks ago I started a new job. I went from nearly 3 years of freelancing to a full time, in-house job. And quite frankly I'm knackered. Totally and utterly exhilarated, challenged and thriving, but knackered. I have always used social media as an outlet, a place to work through my feelings. Good or bad. The community I have built and the friends I have made have been my saving grace. But it's true that sometimes, social media can also be overwhelming.
Comparison is the thief of joy...
Now there's a saying I can get on board with. It's true. It's not a new concept either. Long before social media, there was always that concept of keeping up with Jones'. Something I had been guilty of for so long... But...
Learning to Manage...
I actually think I'm learning and changing. For a while now, I have just found myself not caring. People's posts or lifestyles that would have bothered me in the past simply don't affect me anymore.
I was worried for a while I may have been dampening down my feelings. Ignoring them if you will. But the fact of the matter is, I think I'm learning to manage them better. I feel like I've changed. I can feel a shift in the way I deal with things. The way I deal with people. Am I finally growing that thick skin everyone would talk about? Or more accurately am I responding differently to life's challenges?
Embrace your feels
I'm learning what to hold onto and what to let go of. I'm choosing what I let affect me and what doesn't deserve my time and energy. And I *think* that's the key. It's not easy. It's not plain sailing. It's not always going to work, but right here, right now, I can honestly say I feel the most balanced, honest and real I've ever felt in my life.
I've made a lot of decisions over the last 4 years based on my own happiness. I've taken back control of my life and I've become less afraid. I'm not getting any younger, I'm 40 this year and it's about bloody time I crafted a life that works for me. And the same should go for social media. Craft a space in which you feel safe and nurtured. Your feeds should inspire you, or just simply make you smile!
Mental health is cruel, it doesn't discriminate. It comes and goes when it pleases. But if you can make your life a little easier and softer, it could just give you a little buffer when the black dog comes sniffing around.
Create a life you deserve (you deserve the very best).
Make small changes with big benefits (be selfish, do things for you, unfollow dicks).
Do what works for you (pjs and tv kinda vibe, great. Party all night babe? Brilliant).
Live unapologetically (you don't anyone, anything).
Embrace and acknowledge those feelings. Good and bad. What's important is how you deal with them. Turn them into lessons.
** I was gifted this t-shirt by the lovely folk at Monki. They are working in collaboration with Mental Health Europe who are committed to the promotion of positive health and work closely with their large network to end mental health stigma. If you'd like to learn more, head to the Monki page**
So I guess this is probably my first interiors post? I know I've done various lifestyle stuff over the years as well as the plus size fashion, but living in a rented property has meant I've always struggled to see myself doing real interiors stuff, because after all, it's not my house is it? But one way I have always tried to make my make on the places I live is with wall art.
Beautiful Wall Art
I was contacted by Lana KK to review one of their Canvas Art Wall Maps, which was really strange because Scott and I had literally been talking about it the day before saying how cool it would be for us and the girls to mark off the places we'd been.
When the map arrived I wasn't sure how it would fit into my scheme. As you can probably see I'm a big fan of mid-century modern style decor, even though it doesn't exactly suit the style of my home. But I'm not changing it haha!
Like it had always been there...
But as soon as I got the wall art up I really fell in love with it. And it looked like it had just always been there. I can't wait to get some more bits up on the wall and really make it a feature. And it's quite amazing what a few pictures will do for your home and the atmosphere.
Making a rented house a home...
- Invest in quirky artwork and big prints. I especially love Etsy and FY
- Create pinterest boards. I find a huge amount of inspiration on Pinterest. When I’m moving into a new property, I look at the existing colour scheme, my own furniture and try and devise a vision of how I’m going to dress the room, what the accent colours are going to be and how I can incorporate my pieces into the room/s.
- Check out local vintage fairs and shops.
- Play with textures and colours to create interest and focal points.
I find it really hard to buy gifts for people. I hate buying generic flowers, chocolates and smellies. I either want a gift to be super useful, or super indulgent, something that person would never dream buying for themselves. I guess this sand-free towel from Tesalate falls into the first category as something super useful.
I have seen these towels doing the rounds on social media and wondered if they really lived up to the hype, so when I got the chance to work with Tesalate I was excited to see if it was really any different to your bog-standard beach towel. To be fair, if anyone knows their beach towels it's the Aussies.
From being lightweight to super absorbent there is definitely nothing ordinary about these towels. You might be able to pic up form the pictures, but they're a textured fabric that helps repel the sand and aids them to dry quicker than a normal towel.
Not only are these going to be great for you, I think they make a really different and yep, you've got it, useful gift. For example if you're buying for a woman in your life this Mother's Day, why not make a travelling light gift pack. Pick up some cute and hand-luggage friendly minis (nothing over 100ml if you're using hand luggage and not hold luggage). Maybe a cheap pair of sunnies and one of these fab towels. They have loads of prints to suit different tastes, but I of course went for the 'Leaf me Alone' because palms and geometrics... yum, and secondly because that's my general holiday vibe... leave me alone.
I can't wait to take my for a real test drive on holiday. But I don't know if I'll be able to wait until then... Swimming anyone?
If you'd like to get your hands on one of these. Use the code BeckyBarnes to get 15% off your purchase and all towels come with free worldwide shipping... Bonus!!
Well as it turns out, the wonderful Adele at Pickle and Polish beat me to it, and very kindly sent me the very necklace I had been lusting over.
I absolutely love stars and moons and all things skyward, so when I saw this I was I knew it had to be mine. Handmade from sterling silver, the star can be stamped with an initial too for that personal touch.
The great news is that because it's handmade, you can choose a chain length that suits you too.
Pickle and Polish carry an extensive range of women's, men's and children's jewellery, all handmade, meaning each piece is just a little bit unique. The pieces are priced really reasonably, especially given the time and effort that goes into every beautiful item.
And what's best of all, for me at least, is that Pickle and Polish are local to me, so when I inevitably treat myself to some more of Adele's jewellery I know I'll be supporting not only small business, but local business. Treat yourself with 15% using the code BeckyBarnes15.
**This item was sent for the purposes of review. All words and opinions are my own**
I love a greetings card, not just for special occasions but for 'just because'. They are little pieces of art and never more so than these laser cut cards that the wonderful folk at Pogofandango sent me. With International Women's Day just passed, and Mother's Day at the end of the month, I thought these two cards were great for celebrating the women in our life.
Mother Figures Day
I always think a lot about Mother's Day posts on the blog, I know for a lot of people, the day is not easy, and the barrage of advertising can be incredibly hard going. But I'd like to think of the day as a celebration of the mother figures in our lives, not necessarily by birth, but those strong women who have raised us, supported us and nurtured us.
So to celebrate that I've got two beautiful cards, one a traditional 'mum' card and a card for the power gals in our lives.
These super beautiful cards are laser cut so they're super intricate and so prettily delicate. I love that they are produced by a small team of women, working to create wonderful things. And that with these specific cards we get to pass them onto other wonderful women.
Pieces of Art
What's so fantastic about these cards is that they really are little pieces of art and completely frame-worthy. So not only are you going to brighten someone's day, these will go on to do that for years to come!
Pogofandango have a range of cards for every occasion and is if that's not enough, you can create bespoke cards too. The quality and design are just so special, and delivery is super quick. So if you're looking for something a bit different, these beautiful keepsakes are just the ticket.
**The items in this post were sent for review. All opinions and words are my own**
Howdy! First and foremost you will notice a little change to how I do things. There's a whole lot of new guidelines in regards to bloggers and transparency. So from now on, if I have been gifted an item or paid to write a post you will see [AD] in the title and I will clarify in the first line of text.
Right, now I've got the boring stuff out of the way, service as usual. Yoek are a brand I've been aware of for years, Rivkie from Slink Magazine has been a long time fan and always looks fab in their stuff. So, while looking for new brands to bring you this year on the blog I took a moment to introduce myself to the team.
Something for Everyone
I wouldn't say Yoek was one thing or one particular style, but I would say that there's probably something for everyone. There's a mix of athleisure, statement pieces and more classic styles. Personally though, I was particularly drawn to the Portraits range, it's packed full of clean lines and bold prints. Right up my street eh?
Bonkers for Bodil
The second I saw the Bodil print I fell in love. It's bold, it's monochrome, it's everything I look for in a garment. I was torn between the three garments in which this print comes in, but eventually went for the dress as I know I would wear the life out of it in the summer, but could layer it up until things warm up.
Size-wise I went for the 46/48 which is a UK 20/22. It's generous and oversized, so definitely go for the smaller end of your size bracket. The fabric is a silky soft, lightweight polyester. It's definitely not a budget friendly price. Yoek are around a mid-high price point, but much like some of the other higher priced brands I've covered, the quality is evident in the design, fit and fabric. It literally glided onto my body like a swath of silk. It fitted perfectly, no awkward tugging or pulling.
I'm definitely a Yoek convert. It will of course be a treat, but I know when I'm looking for something that little bit different, more stand out, I'll be heading to the site to see what they have in store.
Hey! So Bethany has done it again with another stellar collection - Arched Eyebrow for Navabi is a-go-go... Never one to shy away from colour, Bethany has poured her heart and soul into this latest offering proving that bold and beautiful is most definitely a triumphant combo.
Me and the mister headed into town yesterday for a spot of shopping and refreshment. Needless to say, I felt fancy AF in this gorgeous coat. Statement coats are something Bethany nails every time and this rust number with gorgeous mustard lining is a complete beaut.
It's a lovely weighty fabric, a wool/poly mix in a deep rust colour with contrasting mustard lining. Size-wise it's generous, which I love but if you prefer a closer fit, I'd advise to size down. Length-wise I'm 5'7" and it comes up about knee length on me. The belt is the only way to fasten the coat just to be aware.
The thing about coats, is that 10 years ago, before supermarkets and fast fashion outlets really had a hold on the market, I wouldn't have thought twice about spending £80-120 for a distinctly average, probably black, winter coat. Then came a time when we could get our hands on fun colours, disposable coats for under £50.
I think we forgot that paying that bit extra for a real stand-out quality item is something that we could all do with thinking about. Granted, not every year, but for the price of three cute but slightly rubbish coats, we could have one amazing one, that everyone admires and you look completely banging in.
The 12 piece collection has a great range of statement pieces with a couple of great basics for good measure. If you're looking for something more than just fast fashion, but still want something that packs a punch then for the love of style, head to Navabi to check out the collection.
**The coat in the post was gifted to me by the lovely folk at Navabi.
All words and opinions on this product are very much my own**