Friday, 22 April 2016

Slimming World

I know this won't be any interest to some, but I'm finally back on Slimming World. I've been putting it off forever, but last week I took the plunge and joined the most convenient group for me! After a year (and a few pounds up)I decided to bite the bullet and join a group again. I have been following it on my own, and not being as successful as I should be! This time around, I'm aiming to lose anything between 2 and 3 stone. I say anything in between as I'll know when I'm comfortable. At the moment, I'm not entirely comfortable and believe and if you're not happy- change it. Having lost 5 stone in total in 2014/2015 I'm not a newbie to Slimming World. If you want to read my journey you can do so here. I'm not one to buy into the whole "diet culture" I don't think anyone who is overweight should feel the need to lose weight to fit in with society. Like I've said time and time again as long as you're happy that's all that should matter. Faux concerns from people shouldn't bother you either. Unless they're your Doctor they don't have a right to say anything about your health. 
Slimming World is not without its downsides, but all I know that it works for me. I lost over a stone on my own, but I found it difficult to shift more and that's when I decided to give Slimming World a go! I joined to lose weight for my trip, for me It was never an aesthetic reason, more of a health as I wanted to do everything I wanted with ease and not have to worry! I'm back a year now and a bit heavier than I was at my lowest - and that's okay! It's not a race, it's a lifestyle. Now I am going to admit, I'll still be going out! I have a very active social life and I have no intentions of stopping that, I'll just be making slightly better choices - although I'm never going to be able to say no to a desert! For me at the point is to have a healthy medium between treating myself and eating healthier. I want to feel a bit better physically and I do find I'm a lot more tired (although that's probably all the time I spend staring at screens as well) I'm looking to finish what I initially started, no matter how long it takes.
So I'll be documenting my SW Journey every month here, as I find weekly posts too intrusive if you're not into weight loss etc! If you do however want to follow my daily meals I'm getting snap happy over on Instagram under (SlimmingSianny) I post daily meals, snacks and I intend to include the good and the bad! I like pretty pictures and I like my food looking pretty, so do stop by if you're looking for some inspiration. What I love about Slimming World is the fact you can eat as much food as you want really. All you need to do is limit your treats. I'll be taking up running again now the weather is nicer and the evenings are brighter. I'm going away in August, so I ideally would like to be 2 stone lighter by then, which is definitely doable as long as I put my mind to it! If you're on Slimming World, pop over to Insta and say Hello, I'd love to chat with you! 
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Friday, 15 April 2016

Cosy Oversized Black Knit | Navabi

It may be officially Spring now, but that doesn't mean we can put our jumpers away- unfortunately it's Ireland! I've built up quite the collection of jumpers this past year, but this one has been my favorite. I've featured it numerous times on my social media channels, but I've yet to dedicate a post to it. This Roll Neck Jumper* is by Isolde Roth from Navabi and I swear it's just a beautiful piece - my Mum has even nicked it once or twice. It's oversized (check), roll neck (check) and black (check) so it was no wonder I chose it. It's extremely good quality and has been chucked in the wash time and time again, and is still a good as new! It's also incredibly cosy, which is what you want from a nice oversized jumper. Definitely a big thumbs up from me! 

I paired it with my trust faux leather jacket from River Island (Similar Here)|(Plus Size Version) which is officially knackered now and is sporting holes in the lining! Now, I have had it over a year and worn it to absolute death. Not a fault in the garment, just a lot of wear and tear. Once I've sufficient funds again, I'll pick up another one! I paired the outfit with a pair of khaki jeans from Penneys, at a bargain price of €14. They're stretchy and just really comfortable and again come highly recommended. My Boots* are from Yours Clothing and are so comfy. As a general rule of thumb, size down if you don't have wide feet, as the 6 are slipping off me, but that's my fault I ordered them and wasn't bothered returning them (laziness on my part). My feet are always cold so nothing that a pair of fluffy socks can't fix! 

I brought my very much loved Louis Vuitton bag and rocked my all time favourite sunglasses from Tiger. I swear everytime I wear them someone asks where I got them! I even sent over a few pairs to my friend in OZ who loved them that much. They cost €4 and I'm pleased to announce they're back in stock this year and I fully intend to pick up at least 10 pairs so I can have them for life! I suppose I just love the way they suit my chubby face. Anyway, sorry again for the break in posts. Things are just so busy at the moment and I'm scared to even look at my inbox! Once I'm done with College for the year I'll have more time to post. 

I miss you all. 
If you miss me too I'm am constantly on one of my Instagram accounts (Bowfabulous| SlimmingSianny) and I dabble in Snapchat (Bowfabulous). 

*Indicates A Gifted Item

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Friday, 25 March 2016

What I Wore | Chilly Spring Day

With Spring officially here, I suppose I should come out of hibernation. Everything has been great over the past few months, but things have been busy and I was sick for what seemed 3 months! I've recently started College again as well as working, so I haven't had much time if I'm honest. I know I sound like a broken record dipping in and out when it, but life just gets in the way. Mandy's Heaven kindly sent me a package a little while ago, and I've been raving about them since. It's great when an online boutique caters for both straight sizes and plus sizes. The boutique is here and based in the U.K. What I love is all different women model the clothes. There's a range of ages and shapes and sizes which is a nice personal touch - exactly what a boutique is meant to be like. I opted for these gorgeous PoloNeck*. As a size 14/16, I chose the 16-20 and it's so nice and cozy.
I'm sick of consistently wearing my leather jacket, which has probably seen better days so I opted for a blanket scarf and tied it with a belt. I was as snug, as a bug in a rug. This Winter I've really embraced polo neck jumpers. With big boobs, I used to shy away, but I find for me, wearing it either with a belt, or tucked into a high waist skirt, but boobs don't take centre stage! I picked it up in Penney's earlier in the Winter and can't believe I haven't worn it that much! It was perfect over the poloneck which is too light to wear on its own. It's incredibly soft and doesn't itch the skin at all. The asymmetrical hem is a lovely touch, and gives it a very designer feel. Priced at £38 it's also really reasonable for the quality you get. 
For accessories, I kept things pretty simple. I went for a black and gold chained bag, a Fedora and a belt. I dropped the jewelery as I didn't want too much fuss, especially with my blanket scarf! The Fedora is a cool way to keep your head warm if you're not a beanie kind of babe! For footwear I chose my very much loved over the knee boots, which I picked up in Penneys in October and have worn them to absolutely death! For under €30 I think it's safe to call them the bargain of the season. The talking point however, is definitely the jumper. Like I mentioned, it's super soft and is the perfect layering piece, especially for Spring. It's not too bulky and is just perfect for under Jackets, but when it gets a little warmer, it will be lovely on it's own with leggings and pumps!

For 20% off use the code BOWS20

Jumper*: MandysHeaven
Fedora*: Boohoo
Blanket Scarf&Boots: Penneys/Primark
Bag: Fran&Jane.
Sunglasses: Tiger.
*Indicates a Giften Item

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Monday, 11 January 2016

Favourite Outfits of 2015

 My Fashion Blogging took a little bit of a back seat this year I will openly admit that, but I've still got a few favourite outfits I thought I'd share with you all! They were all posted on Instagram, so if you don't already follow me, come say Hello (@Bowfabulous)! All these outfits were taken on my old Iphone5S so they weren't really "blog quality", I've since upgraded to the iPhone6S and the photo quality is tons better, so I may start doing more random outfits!

I feel my style has evolved this year. I'm definitely more into my jeans than ever before. I live in my Topshop Jamie Jeans, but I've bought the majority of mine in Penney's. Their jeans are exceptional quality and most have a nice stretch giving you a great shape. I'm definitely still a girly girl and love dressing up, but my favourite outfits of the year have definitely been the more casual ones! I love a pair of runners, ripped jeans and a jumper combo, it's just so effortless and perfect for the weekend.
I was definitely more into my Spring/Summer fashion this year. Although that's probably from spending most of last year without a jacket as I missed the really cold weather at the start of the year. This year I kept things nice and simple when It came to my Summer clothes. Summer dresses are always an essential (I picked up both the floral one and the denim/striped one in H&M and they were both under €20) I loved the Floral Dress which I picked up in the Asos (Maternity believe it or not!) Sale for €14 or something. Yes, it's not really "Flattering" but I felt like a princess in it, and loved it.

A staple piece in my wardrobe is the Boohoo Bomber Jacket in Khaki. It's too light for this time of year, but it will be perfect in February march layered over some jumpers! I also loved oversized grey jumpers this year! One of stolen from my Mum (top centre) and one was stolen from my dad (bottom right!) Grey, aside from black is one of my favourite colours, as it's so versatile and goes with pretty much everything. It's nice to have a neutral that isn't black for a change... . I also love a good sheer shirt for a nice alternative to a "going out, out" outfit. I picked this one up in France (bottom left) for something like €30 and I absolutely love it, again like most of my clothes it's so versatile, you can wear it on a night out like I did here, or add a cami and a cardigan and wear it for work!
As much as I love Summer fashion, I do get sick of it and always welcome the change. I picked up a gorgeous Grey and Black coat in Penney's with a faux fur collar late in the Autumn and I swear I get so many compliments everytime I wear it. For €40 is was the bargain of the season. The faux fur collar is detachable so you it can suit a number of occasions. Navabi was a big hit this year for me. I love this floral shirt  it's taken me through so many different occasions, and I love the long dip at the back. Another favourite this year was also the Grey Coatigan (which is you're a plus size gal is on sale right now! You can size up or down as it's got a nice leather belt to cinch you in)

Apart from my Chelsea Boots my go to boots with my much loved Over the Knee boots again from Penney's. I sized up to a size 7 and they fit like a glove, I just wish I had picked up another pair as they were only €28! You really can't go wrong with Over the Knee boots during the Winter time, especially on really cold and really wet days. It wouldn't be Winter without some Faux Fur, I love the red headband I picked up when I was in Paris. It complimented my favourite red jumper as well as brightening up an all black outfit! My Lavish Alice Cape Blazer was a good buy and was handy throughout the Winter. It goes with dresses and jeans and if you're looking for a staple piece for your wardrobe I'd add this to it!

So that's my favourite picks from 2015! I hope my style evolves more in 2016!
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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Wardrobe Staple: Chelsea Boots

I'm going to start taking you through my wardrobe, and start showing you my most loved items. Items I deem to be wardrobe Staples! (For me anyway!) With Winter at us in full force, a pair of good Winter boots are definitely a staple. I have over the knee ones, ankle ones, heeled ones, flat name it I probably have them but my all time favorite are these Leather Chelsea Boots* from Korky's
They're real leather which is nice and are so comfortable. I've always been told to invest in a good pair of shoes and I'm told all the time how my "shite" shoes will end up ruining my feet. So it's safe to say I'm delighted with this gorgeous pair. I chose this pair as they're so versatile and can be dressed up or down. They can be worn with jeans or a cute floral dress.  I sized up to a size 7 as I wanted to wear thick socks as my feet are a continuously frozen. If you have wider feet and you're looking for ankle boots I'd suggest Yours Clothing, as these ones don't have much room in them if I'm honest!
In terms of comfort, I'd rate them a 9/10. The elastic panels make putting them on mad easy as well as the pull tabs on the back, so your foot goes in without too much pulling! If you're like me and are in between wide and "normal" width, I'd recommend sizing up too especially if again you're like me and like to wear fluffy socks! At €74.99, they're not exactly the cheapest ankle boots out there, but since they're real leather they're definitely a good investment. I found the sole a little hard (I find these on a lot of boots) so I added an insole and I haven't taken these off my feets all December and will continue to wear them right up until Spring...when it does eventually come!
These are my first pair of "proper" shoes from Korky's i.e not heels or not wedges and I'm very impressed. Korky's wasn't somewhere I'd initially of gone to look for a new pair of shoes, but I'll definitely start looking now. A pair of boots like these would retail for over €100 in the likes of Topshop or River Island. The quality is exceptional too. I've been wearing these boots all day, pretty much everyday and they only get more comfortable and bar a few scrathes (that can probably be polished over?!) they're still in pretty good nick! They're hands down my favourite pair of boots I've ever owned and I constantly get compliments too - which is always a bonus! 
Unfortunately there's only size 6's left on their website, but they have a full range of sizes in stores. As well as these boots Korky's have an array of other ankle boots, so if these Chelsea Boots aren't your thaaang, you'll definitely find a pair that suits you!
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Thursday, 7 January 2016

My Ebay Edit

With January in full force and everyone broke, I thought I'd do a post on my favourite Ebay bargains to show you don't need to spend a fortune or trail through the mountaineous sale crap to get your shopping fix! I've been using Ebay for years and years and have always managed to find a good bargain. Pretty much all my sunglasses are from Ebay, as I love huge comical ones that cover half by face and make me out to be a sassy biatch.
 Bunny Iphone 6 CaseNecklace , Designer Inspired Bag,
Collar , Quay Cha Cha ShadesBlanket Scarf
  Bobble Hat,  Laceup FlatsStacked Rings

First things I look for when updating my wardrobe on a low budget is accessories. It's amazing how a new scarf or a statement neckpiece can transform your "go to" outfit. If your handbag has seen better days it's always nice to get a new one, I always feel more organised when my bag is nice and clean and isn't dumping ground for every hair bobble, lipstick and perfume bottle I own! As it's coming into Spring (Kinda...) it's always good to stock up on cheaper sunglasses. I love my Raybans, don't get me wrong but with cheap pairs you're don't frantic with worry if you sit on them or if you accidentally leave them on the Luas... . These Quay Cha Cha ones aren't exactly cheap, but here's a cheaper option!

2 in 1 Sweater (up to a size 20), Grey Swing Jumper (up to a size 16), Grey Skater Dress (up to a 5XL),
 Oversized Black Sweater (up to size 22), Oversized Knit Jumper (up to size 20),  Oversized Shirt (up to size 24),
High Neck Swing Dress (up to size XL), Grey Marl Polo Neck Dress (up to size 18), Boho Cardigan (up to size XL/18)

Clothes are a bit more tricky to buy off Ebay if I'm honest. Anything limited edition is hiked up to extortionate prices (Balmain for H&M is one example) but if you're looking for fast fashion you can pick up some good bargains! I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was some options for plus size girls.There is heaps more in an array of sizes for bargain prices all over Ebay, so Happy browsing! However being honest I do tend to size up 2 if it's from China as a precautionary measure. Swing dresses are a basic at the moment, they're easy to throw on for work and is the perfect layering piece. What I love buying on Ebay is oversized jumpers they're perfect for lazing around the house of going to the gym/walking/running!

Floral Pilow CaseMirror TrayWhite Wedding Candle Holder,
I Love You Wall HangerBed SpreadInitial Mug
Fake FlowersKey HookHeart Fairy Lights

While Ebay isn't somewhere I'd think to look for home decor, they have some really cute bits. With all the Christmas decorations down by this stage, it's the perfect time to give your house a bit of a Spring Clean, before Spring is upon us! I'm a huge fan of flowers, but I'm just about capable of taking care of myself so flowers tend to be lost on me. Fake flowers are something I used to always think was a bit naff but you can get some really realistic looking ones now! A mirror tray is always something I've wanted for my dressing table to hoard some more of my crap in a pretty way! There is also so many pretty fairy lights on Ebay too, perfect to make your bedroom into a fairy land!

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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

MeruMaya Mud Marvels Mask Review

New Year, New You... blah blah blah.. 
The one New Years Resolution I can get on board with is looking after my skin a little more. I've always been meticulous about taking off my makeup, but lately I feel my skincare routine needs a bit more TLC. I used this Mask back in November and I kind of forgot about it if I'm honest. The other night I wanted a pamper session and was rooting through my mountainous skincare drawer, when I found this gem, and decided to give it another whirl.

I'm a HUGE fan of MeruMaya's Melting Cleansing Balm*, so I had high hopes for this Mud Mask. Anything that claims to "Detox" is something I want to know about! MeruMaya Mud Marvels Mask * claims to:

  • Decongest & Detoxify
  • Clarify & Deep Cleanse
  • Revitalise and Rejuvinate

First things first, as someone who has dry AND dehydrated skin (there's a difference) I always exfoliate my skin prior to this treatment as I do find this Mask does dry out my skin. My go to exfoliant at the moment is the Botanics one from Boots. It's cheap and cheerful and does that job. If you're prone to oily skin this one will work wonders for you. If like me your skin is dry and/or dehydrated just slather on your favourite moisturiser after application.
The instructions are easy to follow which I like. There really isn't anything worse than a long list of instructions. It's straightforward, apply and even layer to your face and neck and leave for 15 minutes to so. I tend to leave mine on for about 25/30 while I get engrossed in something on Netflix. It's difficult to get out of the tube, but once you do and warm it up in your hands it's easy to apply all over your face (I avoid my neck as I like to make the most out of my face masks!)
As you would guess it's quite thick, but I only used a little bit as I don't love the whole "Clay" feeling and also it was my second day in a row using it - I just had a bad hormonal breakout! It dried pretty quick and your skin doesn't feel too tight and it doesn't tingle which I like too.You can use it all over your face or use it on concentrated area's too. After your desired time I use either a muslin cloth or if I'm really lazy just good old fashion hands and water. Compared to other masks it's pretty easy to remove. I use their Iconic Youth Serum because I love it, but I also use a moisturiser too!
Once the mask is removed your skin feels instantly better. It feels smooth and clean, but again if you have dry skin it will be left feeling a little dry, so make sure to top it up with some Moisturiser or their Iconic Serum which is lovely (and smells divine) Overall I would rate this Mask a 7.10. I've used better and I've used worse. If you've dry skin like myself I probably wouldn't splash out on this as it is £19.50 but if you're prone to oiliness or if you're prone to breakouts I'd definitely recommend this product!
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Monday, 4 January 2016

Lessons I've learnt in 2015

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's not longer 2015, where does the time go?

2015 will forever be the year I travelled the world, changed career and got bit by two monkeys. It will also be the year I found my passion for Social Media and formed life long friendships with people I would never have the pleasure of meeting if I hadn't taken the step to travel the world.

I'll leave you with a lot of lessons I've learnt over the last year...

South East Asia (Jan/Feb)
  • Travelling will teach you to be kinder and be more patient. 
  • You'll meet so many people. Some you'll like, some you'll love and some you'll never want to see again. Not everyone has to like you, and that's okay. 
  • You'll learn to live by the saying "You'll sleep when you're dead" but girl, you'll NEVER, EVER, EVER be a morning person.
  • You'll learn to become an expert traveller. Hint: When the drinks cart comes around say you're a nervous flyer and you'll get a few G&T's.The magic rule is to always be polite and in doubt a little Irish charm goes a long way. Who wants to wait another three hours until they come around again!
Australia February/March
  • Befriending girls who don't speak fluent English will lead to a wonderful friendship! You'll learn to communicate through laughter and kindness, the basis of all good friendships, right?
  • Saying Yes to things that scare you will lead you to things you'd never thought you'd experience. I said "Yes" so many times this year and it lead to me jumping out of a plane,  swinging on the highest swing as well as landing me an exciting new career!
  • Take kindness when it's given to you. Accept offers to stay at friends houses and accept an authentic Aussie BBQ too they'll turn into great memories
  • Always, always check flight times and dates! (This one is a no brainer really..)
New Zealand March/April
  • Going to things on your own isn't as scary as you initially thought. Again use your Irish charm to your advantage and when in doubt offer someone a drink! 
  • Always wear suncream and keep topping it up. Your stomach will probably forever be a slightly different colour to the rest of your body thanks to not being so careful!
  • AVOID MONKEYS. Yes Monkey Island was a lesson learnt, but then you wouldn't have that story you just love to bore people to death with. You'll forever love to show off your scars at every possible opportunity (Bonus arse pic below!)
  • Hostel living 'aint so grim, but it's still not up yer street.
Thailand -  April
  • You'll never forget the kindness of strangers and then friends especially after said Monkey attack. There are a lot of kind and selfless people in the world.
  • You'll learn not to sweat the small things and be more optimistic. 
  • Enjoying your own company was mandatory with all the solo flying so you've learnt to be okay and be resourceful on your own!
  • Disappointment is just part and parcel of life. You'll get over it, but girl GET IT NEXT TIME.
  • Travelling parts of Ireland can be just as wonderful as travelling the rest of the world. The Cliffs of Moher are truly beautiful.
  • Equality Day was a pretty big lesson in love this year and you'll never be more proud to be Irish.
  •  The only lesson I've learnt in regards to fitness and getting healthier is to never give up. People falter, but that doesn't mean you're weak or you're a failure it just means you're human.

  • Getting involved as much as you can with the Refugee Crisis will be so rewarding and something you'll want to dedicate more time to in 2016. 
  • Travelling more of the Europe with some new and old friends is mad craic. With true friendships, it really doesn't matter how long it's been since you've seen each other or how long you've been friends! 
  • Your friendship group will grow stronger this year, and you'll realise how remarkable your friends are. 
  • Always be present in the moment, but take too many photos. If only something to look back on and make you smile on shite days.
  • Getting Naked for Stellar Magazine will always be a lesson in loving your body the way it is now.
  • Taking a leap into a new career is still scary, and is still very much challenging trying to find your feet but the rewards are slowly coming. 
  • You make still be broke, but you're richer in so many, many ways.
  • Ultimately you can always count on your friends and family, no matter how many mistakes you make they'll support you and your friends especially will always try and show you the funny side of things.
So I learnt a lot this year. This year will be forever imprinted in my brain as my "fun" year, I didn't take life seriously, I lived life to the full and I took risks (Most risks were worth it!) It's been a jam-packed year and one that I don't think I'll be able to top easily. 2016 will pose some challenges I'm sure, but I've never been more excited to see what adventures I'll have. I don't really set new years resolutions, I prefer to set goals, although this year my sole goal this year is to be happy. 

I want to take this time to wish each and every one of you a very happy and healthy 2016 and I hope all your dreams come true X
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