Sunday, 27 January 2013

Watching the pennies.




This kind of post may not be in line with what I normally do, but as you may have noticed if you read my blog I just LOVE a good holiday/trip away/day out. I often get asked how do you manage to afford all these trips. At first I found this quite rude, I mean my finances aren't really anyone's business but I thought well I have no real problem in sharing this as I am such a bargain hunter that all my trips away have been carefully planned on quite small budgets. If there is one thing I am organised with, it is planning. I love planning my holidays, my birthdays my finances. It's all really a sad state of affairs, but due to my, on verge of obsessive behavior I have managed to go on some bloody brilliant holidays so I thought I would let you into some tricks. 


1. Flights and Train sales

If you are clever and do your research you can get flights as low as 1p. I kid you not people, Ryanair often has a penny sale where they sell flights for just 1p and all you pay is tax. This is a great opportunity for you to go away on a budget, and try somewhere you normally wouldn't think of going. Many people think that it is more expensive to go abroad than to stay in the UK. This isn't always the case, sometimes train tickets for UK destinations are way more expensive than a return flight to Madrid for example. Take some time to look on the websites and see what the prices are like for the times you would like to go away!
Here are a list of Flight and Train websites I use:

Ryanair


2. Book Ahead

 My main recommendation is to try and work out the holidays or days off you want to take ahead of time so you have lots of time to save up and get the cheapest flights of train fares possible. The early bird catches the worm people. I usually sit down and think of a list of events that are up and coming i.e. My birthday, Dan's birthday other friends birthdays, valentines days, anniversaries. It might seem pedantic but I have managed to   be away on these special occasions with such cheap deals. Also, be wise and see if you can take some annual leave days either side of a bank holiday, that way you get a nice long weekend away with sometimes using just one days annual leave. 


I am TripAdvisor's biggest fan, when ever I book to go any where I always pop on to the website to have a nosy at real visitors photos, and have a read of the reviews as they are often full of excellent tips for exploring the area of places or things to avoid. My advise is to not be put off by negative views if there are also lots of positive ones, what annoys one person may not annoy another so try and focus on the good reviews rather than the bad. 

4. AirBnb

So I have only just discovered this amazing website! It is wonderful, basically it is a website that advertises accommodation in over 192 countries around the world such as flat/apartments/cottages/rooms. It is a social website where people advertise their properties showing a list of photos of the property and prices for the days you wish to stay. What I love most about the website is that you can also see reviews from previous guests and you can see a profile about the person you are renting the property from. It is a much safer way to finding somewhere to stay for both parties. When you choose your property and make your payment they hold the payment until 24 hours after you check in. This means less worrying about getting ripped off and works perfectly as there is a middle man to help of you have any complaints. I recently stayed in an apartment in Paris for Christmas, it was beautiful and just perfect for a few days away, the host was also wonderful and really helpful. (See photo below) 


5. Groupon 

If you really hate the whole planning thing then I would then recommend that you try a site like Groupon. As well as selling bargain products Groupon also sells bargain trips away. Sometimes these include flights and accommodation if you see any that catch your fancy, have a look at whether the dates suit you, TripAdvisor the accommodation and if it is up to standard book book book! Make sure you read the small print carefully as many of these offers are non-refundable.


So yep I think that is about it...I hope this post was helpful, I am sure I have missed something out but feel free to tweet me or comment below if you have any questions.

Callie xoxo




Friday, 25 January 2013

Evans Shape Studio

As many of you may have seen I was spotted in the Daily Mail this week, discussing a very exiting topic about my collaboration with Evans and Clements Ribeiro (which I will be sure to talk more about in another post soon!) I was also sporting a lovely dress that I had the pleasure of trying on at the Evans Shape Studio bloggers party. Evans have lots of beautiful clothing out for their Spring/Summer collection and here are just a few shots of some of my favorite pieces.

In the first two photos I am wearing is a Collection top from Evans which I have paired with leather look leggings and some ankle boots. It is a great versatile top! As you can see in the photo below my babe of a  friend Danielle has chosen to wear her top tucked in whilst I opted for a baggy top over leggings kind of look. The Collection clothing will be available from 14th of April. 




The second outfit I tried on was of course the photo you may have all seen from my feature in The Daily Mail. Myself, Bethany and Georgina are all wearing a dress by Scarlett & Jo. It wasn't something I would normally pick up for myself  but it has actually grown on me a lot. I was a little scared of body con style dresses before but I actually think they compliment my shape really well and of course how beautiful do the girls look? The Scarlett and Jo range starts from sizes 14-26 and their collection will be available from February 5th. I really would recommend this dress girls, it is really comfy and as you can see comes in two colours. 


I had such a lovely evening with the other plus size bloggers, it its always a pleasure to see old and new faces  and I certainly enjoyed the champagne and canapes!





Monday, 21 January 2013

An open letter to the Daily Mail trolls




The Daily Mail article

I suppose this endeavor is pointless as most of the readers of the daily mail didn't even take the time to look at my blog, to find out who I am before spewing masses of abuse to me or my friends.

At the start I was angry at you but now, if anything I pity you for being the kind of person who finds it so easy to humiliate and judge people. Some of the comments, I and the other girls received today were in my honest opinion, expected because everyone wants to put their two pence in. I know lots of people will be reading this thinking why did you read the shitty comments? I have even asked myself this. Why read something you know is going to hurt you? I'm sorry to say I have no answer to this. Maybe I'm a masochist. I think in total I read only four comments but they have been playing around my head all day. All I know is that it really hurts to see people stoop as low to shaming us on a national paper. 

If you have commented and actually ventured to my blog, let me make this very clear, I may cry over the comments tonight but tomorrow I will wake up next to my loving bf, go down stairs in my lovely flat in London and say good morning to my best friends.I will open my phone to tweet or browse on Facebook on my commute to work and see the reams of comments that so many wonderful people have left for me and your comment will be but a memory. You will most likely find someone else to bully tomorrow but before you do, take a minute and think how you would feel if you saw your sister, friend, mother being spoken to the way that you have spoken to me or the other girls featured. Having the balls to put ourselves out their subject to criticism is something that takes guts and is something to be proud of. So today you may have defeated me tomorrow you will not.

To all those reading that have been nothing but supportive you are seriously wonderful kind people and I promise that your comments have meant the world to me. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wanted to share something that moved me today I know that the content of what I am about to share, my family and friends had already said, I guess because this person was a stranger to me that it moved me so much. 

Hiya Callie,

I've just subscribed to your blog and have been following you on Instagram for a while now and i dont normally do this sort of thing but I just wanted to contact you personally and say when i got to work this morning and logged in for my daily mail fix I honestly was so happy to see your moosh online. You were ROCKING that dress and looking like a complete and utter babe!

Please don't be upset by these vulgar people who are leaving disgusting comments - some people really have nothing better to do with their time apart from be completely utter vile human beings - your beautiful and what your doing is a great thing you are inspiring so many women (me being one of them!) to feel "ok" in their own skin and you know what it's about time so this is a private and personal little thank you from me to you for putting yourself out there and for making people realise how beautiful we really are.
From what I read you have an amazingly kind and positive outlook on life which many of these trolls would be envious of and would dream to have.

Continue to surround yourself with people who praise you up and make you feel like the million dollars you deserve to feel like - I'm 27 now I just wish I had found my body confidence some years ago. Like most things it's taken a while but I'm slowly getting there and I proudly showed you off (even tho I don't really know you I just feel like I know you - you know like when you see someone off the telly on street and you think "oh I know her" haha) to the ladies (and gents) in my office today whom all commented on how beautiful you all were 

I don't know why I felt so compelled to contact you I guess I just kept reading the comments today at work every so often and my heart sunk how can people be so cruel to these women who are making a stand for so many of us.

Be proud, dry your eyes and get used to all the love pouring your way... Just keep doing what your doing and keep your head up high today the daily mail tomorrow the world 
Thank you to this person who emailed me. You will never know how much its means.Love and happiness to everyone.
Love Callie xX

Sunday, 20 January 2013

DORK



I know I'm late to the party but I'm sure that many of you have seen the logo tees from Topshop that are currently out. I am not normally a fan of Logo tops but I actually really like the style of these T-shirts. Of course I would have loved to have worn the Topshop one however I don't fit into their clothes. This of course does not mean us plus size girls can't wear it. When I was browsing in Primark I found an imitation that went up to a larger size and was a fraction of the price at just £4 compared to the £18 one in Topshop. I have realised much more lately that just because I am plus size it doesn't mean that I cannot participate in fashion.

Here I am wearing my own version of the Geek T-shirt  (but the Dork version) which I paired with a skater skirt, tights and little boots (from Evans linked in my previous posts.)  I chose to wear the tee tucked in but it looks just as good out and could be worn with leggings or skinny jeans. Also how amazing is my new coat? It was in the sale for £50 from ASOS Curve and I am in love with it.  












So what do you think of these Tees are we loving or hating?



Callie x

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My top 10 things to do in Paris.

As you may know, this Christmas, myself and the boy popped off to Paris for a five days. I am a bargain hunter and an avid trip adviser user. I love nothing more than deciding on a place to visit and spending hours and hours researching the best place to stay, the best things to do, and of course the best places to eat. Some may think that I am taking the fun out of discovering a city but I see it more as fitting more things in. Believe you me I don't always follow my own rule book when it comes to my travels, if I don't stick to my own schedule its not the end of the world, you will always stumble on things that other people may not have when you are away, as they say one persons trash is another persons treasure. Well all I can say is that Paris really is a treasure, its history, architecture it has a certain  je ne sais quoi that makes you just fall in love with it. I thought I would count down for you my favorite haunts in Paris, I would like to thank my beautiful girl Amy from These girls turn heads and her mum for helping me discover these as wonderful places after sending me an extensive email list, now we all love a list don't we? Any way onto my top 10...

10
Champs-Élysées 


Perhaps the most famous street in all of Paris, a gorgeous avenue full of lovely shops, boutiques, café's when I was there over Christmas this was lined with a wonderful Christmas Market, I must admit it definitely isn't cheap but the atmosphere is wonderful, the aroma of freshly cooked crepes lingers every where and it is such a pleasant thing to do for the day.



9
The River Seine


On Christmas Day enjoyed a five course lunch cruising down the Seine. This is the river that runs through Paris and is really lovely both day and night. If you get chance I would doing a river cruise, if I went again I think I would prefer to do this at night as Paris looks beautiful after dark and it is a wonderful way of seeing all of Paris's famous sites from the comfort of a warm boat. 


8
Hotel De Ville


This is the Paris government building, built in the 19th Century it is very beautiful to look at from the outside, it is very close to Notre Dame. Inside there is an exhibition which is free running from the end of 2012. During Christmas they have an ice rink right outside the front of the building and at night it is such a perfect background for evening skating. It is around five euros to hire skates, but again there is a queue so be aware of the wait.


7
Pont des Arts

They say Paris is the most romantic city in the world, and this certainly is a romantic experience. This is a bridge in Paris where people from all over the world have come to lock their love on the bridge, and throw the key into the Seine which is a representation of an undying love for each other. The idea is you write your names on a Padlock and leave it in Paris forever, as you can see above Dan and I locked our love and it really was a special experience. Reading the messages on the other locks was so wonderful, and I would recommend this to all you love birds out there .

6
Angelina's Hot Chocolate


Thanks to Amy and her wonderful advise we wandered from the Louvre to find this infamous Cafe. I must warn you now we waited over fifteen minutes to get in , but it was certainly worth the wait. Although it may seem expensive at around 15 euros for two people having the opportunity to indulge in the most decadent hot chocolate in the world then it doesn't seem too bad. If you love the film 'Chocolate' then you will love this. 


The Louvre



The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in Paris, housed in an old Palace it holds some of the most famous art work in the world. The photo of myself above its outside the glass pyramid and it was full of people taking photos as you can see. At most it will cost you 14 Euros for a ticket inside the actual museum, but beware the queues can be very long, but this is the case with many of the tourist attractions in Paris.


4
Notre Dame

Whilst you are in Paris you must go and visit this beautiful cathedral. We were lucky enough to visit this on Christmas Eve and  were able to enjoy the Christmas Mass (which is normally filmed world wide), on screens outside. You could also queue to go inside and light a candle, which I did and it was a really special experience. I am not religious but I really enjoyed seeing this. If you are brave enough you can climb the stairs of Notre Dame to the top, with a knee injury I thought it was best I skipped that bit but I ever went back I certainly would have a go. 


3
Eiffel Tower 


Well of course while you are in Paris you have to go and see the Eiffel Tower, personally I prefer to see this at night, there is something special about seeing it glitter in all its glory, we were lucky to see it sparkle for the first time on Christmas Eve and it was so perfect. We went to the top at around dusk which is a really perfect time to get great views of all Paris, don't be put off by the really long queues they go down quite quickly. 



2
Le Marais




When we were looking for some where to stay and I was doing my research I wanted to stay some where a bit different, somewhere that wasn't quite too far from everything and not too touristy. I then stumbled on Le Marais which is a the old Jewish quarter and it just totally stood out to me. There is so much to do in this area, great Jewish bakeries, vintage shops and bars. They have the best Falafal shop in Paris in this area, we waited 10 minutes in a queue for it and it was well worth the wait. I could not recommend this area more!


1
Sacré-Cœur


This was my favourite place in Paris, although it takes a lot of steps to get up to, it has the most amazing view of Paris. The Basilique du Sacré Cœur is on top of the hill of  the Montmartre area, and when at the top you will find a really small lovely  village which sells souvenirs, small restaurants, café's and market stalls. We just sat on the steps and enjoyed the view. I imagine this would be such a beautiful place to be during the summer  so if you get the chance to see Paris put this on your list of places to see. I promise it won't disappoint.




I hope that you have enjoyed this post. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or tweet me.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

What I wore in Paris.

In all honesty I never normally plan outfits for when I am away, mainly because I can never decide what I want to wear and secondly because when ever I plan I end up changing my mind any way. I know you've all been there! You have idea of what you want today but the next day you may just change your mind.

Any way, the only thing I did plan for was buying a new coat, which as you will see has featured heavily in all of my photographs from Paris. For the first time in a very long time I decided to buy a light coloured coat, now, if you know me you will know that the reason I never by light coloured clothing is because; 

1. I live in black clothing.
2. I spill everything on myself

YES I am nothing fancy guys, I spill drinks, food, the lot on myself!
I am really trying to work on it, I have no idea why I am so clumsy I just am! So the beige coat was a real big deal for me, but you know what I am so glad I did it, and I can proudly announce no spills! You are probably hoping that I am going to stop rambling now and get to show you some pictures so here goes...







Coat- Primark -£35
T-shirt- Primark- £2.50
Tights- Marks and Spencer- £6
Pencil Skirt-Primark -£8
Boots- Evans found here currently in the sale.



  



  Polka dot shirt- Asda £14 (summer purchase)
Watch River Island - Similar here
Necklace -Primark- £5  


Later on when it got cold I purchased this plaid scarf for 10 euros from a little Christmas market I wanted one before I went so I was ecstatic that I found one. If you like the plaid look there is a lovely one here from Urban Outfitters and in the sale for £10

Peplum Tee- Currently £7 in sale here at Dorothy Perkins

Any way that is the end of my outfit photos. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about what I am wearing drop me a tweet at @calliethorpe or on Instagram with the same user name.

Callie x


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Paris for Christmas. Part 1

They say Paris is the most romantic city in the world, everything about Paris makes you fall in love with it. When we decided to book a holiday for Christmas, I just knew we had to go there, I must say it was an inner girly girl screaming OMG PARIS. I know that when I am older and I look back at this post, I will be able to feel the fond memories I felt about being in Paris with the most important person in the world to me.







1/2/3 -We started our trip off by visiting the local market in Le Marais where we saw the most beautiful flower displays as well as vibrant fresh fruit and vegetables. We also bought some Oysters as it is tradition to eat them on Christmas Eve in France. On our second day we visited the Louvre it took about 15 minutes to get the shot of me above which amused Dan greatly. 

4- As you can see we were brave enough to try Escargot (snails) which I have to say were pretty darn tasty I urge you to try it, I have certainly ticked it off my bucket list. 

5- Perhaps the most beautiful experience I had in Paris was the Christmas Eve mass at Notre Dame, having lost my Nan over 10 years ago Christmas has never really been the same, so it was really special to me to light a candle in the cathedral in her honour.

6- Christmas day was spent cruising down the Seine eating a five course meal. It was very fancy! We got a teeny weeny bit drunk...but that's another story!

I will be doing another photo post, one of my outfits in Paris and one using some full size photo's especially of my favorite ones! I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas.

Callie x

New Year Resolutions.


2012 was something spectacular, it was a year when I opened doors for myself, where I learnt to appreciate the smaller things. Where I started to appreciate myself and those around me. It was also a year of bad health, loss of friendships, and some really difficult times. If I could go back and change anything would I? I think the answer would be no. 2012 certainly wasn't perfect, in fact at times it was wearing. Now here I am sitting here with the intention of committing myself to a set of rules to live by for 2013. 'New Years Resolutions' lots of us make them, lots of us break them, but you know what, most of us are just trying to be better people than we are. So this year I have made some promises that my Resolutions will not be set in stone, that if I make them then that's great. If not its no big deal.


1. Ditch the Diet

I am so drained and tired of the years and years of Yo Yo dieting. I have taken myself to the darkest places in a bid to get rid of my disgusting fat body. The truth is I have gotten bigger from the dieting. The diet industry is just one big ploy to take our money and make us feel bad about ourselves. Well I for one am not participating anymore. I want to live a happy and healthy life, therefore this year I will walk more, go to Zumba, go swimming, go for a bike ride, have that chocolate bar but also have those vegetables. Love my body and throw away useless shit books like the one below!


2. Stop seeking approval from everyone.

I have serious anxiety issues and they stem from bad things but I refuse to let them control my life. I don't need to ask everybody three times over for approval of what I am wearing, where I am going on my holiday, what I do with my own money. No it stops now, this is my life and I need to be secure in my choices, if they don't work out that's another lesson learnt and I can live with that.

3. Be more appreciative of Dan.

It feels like Dan was brought as a blessing into my life, he came at just the right time, he changed everything he was my first love and will be my last. I couldn't even write a paragraph long enough to say how much this boy does for me. I know that at times I can be a high maintenance bossy bitch yet he still sticks around he still loves me flaws and all. I don't think a day goes by when his childish, foolish ways don't make me laugh. This year I want to take the time to be more attentive to him, to do more things that he wants to do, to stop moaning at him for stupid things, and to stop trying to change him and remember he is perfect just as he is.


4. Go out more, see more, do more.

I love my home so much and it has to be said that I am a little bit stuck in my ways when it comes to choosing staying in over going out. I need to remember that I have my whole life to sit in my house and be content but I am only young once and that I need to be out more, meeting new people, drinking nice drinks, eating nice meals, experiencing new things. Exploring London! I am so blessed to live here and need to make use of the her beauty.

5. Appreciate friends more.

My friends do a lot for me, and I need to stop reminding them I do a lot for them, its not a good trait to keep track of the things you do for people to then use it against them at another time. Keep those things in mind in your own head, it will show you that you are trying to be a good person and that you don't give to receive. Make time for your friends, make an effort, support them in their endeavors be there for them when they make mistakes just as they are for you.


6. Finally, Blog more.

Blogging has brought something else to my life, something that is just mine. I have made wonderful friends and got to do some really amazing things through it and it has improved my confidence so much. I hope to blog more for 2013 and to share with my readers a little bit of my life. Happy New Year!