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NEVER KNOWINGLY CONCISE // THIS IS ME

THIS IS ME

Where do I even begin with this?

Right, DEEP BREATH. Here we go!

I have always been small, in height, the smallest at school… the smallest in every single friendship group since then. The smallest in the family. When I was working at Eli’s school last year, there were even children almost my height, and they were pushing age 8 (!!), if that. I was often mocked as a child because of my height, “short arse” and “little legs” are the nicer of the names I was referred to. It made me feel ‘picked on’, and singled out to be referred to because of my height. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I know I shouldn’t, but I actually really DO care what other people think – to my own detriment.

I had the familiar pang of sadness, that I’d had so many times as a child, when Eli came along. He’s on the shorter side of “the chart” for his age – he’s always followed the same line on the chart. He was born with several conditions too (Talipes, Torticollis, Hypermobility) which in turn could have some kind of effect on his growth. He’s actually only just below average height for his age. Most kids are ABOVE AVERAGE in height; making him look smaller. I became/become hyper-sensitive when we get adults proclaim  “Oh isn’t he small!” “Eli is so tiny for his age isn’t he!” “My son is 3 years younger than him and already his height!”. Why are you even referring to his height? Why is it such a BIG THING for you to point out? I’m totally digressing from my own issues here because I’m being defensive and protective of him; but just wanted to point out that your throwaway comments about something like height (and I’ll get onto this now, but also, weight) can actually hit someone in such a bad way, especially when they’re already mega conscious of what you’re pointing out. Instead of referring to my son’s height, how about you refer to how agile and strong and clever and cheeky and funny and how unbelievably caring and creative he is?

ANYWAY…

Back to it.

My height I cannot do anything about and I wholly accept that. So why oh why have I found body-acceptance so damn difficult?

I’m a complete little bit ginger (which again, I was cruelly bullied for as a child), I have a gazillion freckles, I have a rather large nose (which I do now accept and got pierced later in life because I was learning to embrace it… not embraced enough for me to tell my parents I’d had it pierced however!). I didn’t grow up with a good self image. At all. I’ve always struggled to look in the mirror.

I’m ‘petite’ – I’m quite literally 5 foot nothing. I have big old Mothering hips and a bust. I had a big arse well before it was in fash-un. I distinctly remember being told I had a ‘duck bum’ (that protruded as I walked), as a child. Putting on the odd pound here or there makes me look massive because of my height and stature.  My body shape is TOTALLY different to how it was when I was 8, when I was 15, when I was 21, heck, when I was pregnant with Eli at 26 and it’s even different to the months and years following the birth of Eli.

When I became a parent, I KNEW, I had to let go of the self-conscious me. I KNEW I had to let go of the cringing in the mirror. I KNEW I had to let go of the posing at my best angle and just live in the now and be the natural me in photographs.

I knew all this and still continued through life with the same mindset – just now being extra careful not to project any of my feelings onto Eli directly. I’m ALWAYS the one behind the camera. Never in front – unless my body is cropped – or unless I take a mirror selfie (the one I post is usually out of around 2000 that I take and cry over before eventually posting). It makes me so bloody sad going through our photos from our recent holiday to Florida; I’m barely in any of them. There’s probably 3 that I let James take of me and I would never ever post them. (He would be the first to admit that he is just awful at taking candid photos – so theres no point wasting phone memory on taking any of me at all). The confidence issue doesn’t stop with the photo-taking though.  I also walked around in 40c heat in Florida with my arms covered every single day. I was sweating like I never even imagined I could sweat, but still, I refused to take of the kimono or the jacket or the long sleeved dress. WHY? Because all of these strangers would see my bare arms?! GOD FORBID LASS. It’s nuts isn’t it? It’s actually nuts. I am my own worst enemy.

Since having Eli 6 years ago, my body has changed drastically. I put on 4 stone whilst pregnant with him. It came off quite slowly. I did every diet possible – but in the end I stuck to slim fast and the 5:2. Within a few months, I had gone down to a size 8-10. And I was still miserable. I was still unhappy with my body. The scars, the stretch marks, the wobbly bits. My dumpy little legs and my zero torso cos Petite. I still didn’t want to have my photograph taken. I still didn’t want to look in the mirror.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m now 32 and I’m only truly learning what it means to have ‘self-love’. I had a tough time following my miscarriage last year – not just because of the obvious. But because I was blaming this sack of a body I had to get around in. I blamed by body for failing to protect that baby that was so wanted. But my body wasn’t to blame at all. My body did what it needed to. When I realised that, I realised and understood how strong my body really is. How amazing my body actually is. But still, I couldn’t get that emotional response to project onto the outside and transfer into true body confidence.

For years I have watched and admired the confidence of so many amazing women across the media. (REAL women, like you and I). People like @StyleMeSunday and her Body Confidence campaigns – instantly jump to mind. For years I have wished I had just an ounce of that confidence. To be able to dress to my size, to not hide behind the floaty dresses (I will still love my floaty dresses, but not for playing hide & seek in!) , at jaunty angles and to actually feel comfortable within my own skin. To allow photographs to be taken of me… photos of me and my boy.  After all, when we’re gone, the only thing that will remain are these photographs of precious times and now all I can think about is the lack of any photographic evidence of us all together. It’s really just so sad, isn’t it? It’s terrible.

So? What’s your point? Well, stranger on the internet, I have began to finally feel better about my body.  More recently, folk like @mollyjforbes, @Inpolife, @life_with_Ivycoco, and of course, @CharliHoward@Erica_Davies & @HannahfGale – have all posted such amazing content with such honesty, how can I not take just a little bit of it on board? How can I not think better of my own body and bones?

About a month ago I went to a gathering organised by @MidsizeCollective – I almost didn’t go. I felt massive. I was beyond nervous. I was going on my own (I did meet up with long-time IG pal @i0wen in the end!). It all felt too much. I didn’t want anxiety to get the better of me.

I’m so bloody glad I went. It was exceptionally inspiring to be in a room with other women who understood me and my body shape. To be able to chat and share in our shopping woes of being ‘middle sized’ women. Because, you know what, we are the forgotten women. Not skinny… but not plus size. We’re NORMAL sized women. But why does it feel like we’re invisible? Why is it so difficult to find clothing that fits us? Why, oh, why, do we find body confidence so damn hard to work with?! Why are we not represented within the Fashion industry… within shops and their marketing? WHY OH WHY OH WHY?

I just want to feel comfortable in the skin that I have. To be comfortable with the skin that I’m in; whatever my size. To have appreciation for my body; and confidence in where my body takes me. We ALL have a body, whatever shape or size or height or colour(s) it may well be. So that’s our NORMAL. No more, definitely, no less. We’re all NORMAL.

And you know what? I heard that THICK THIGHS, SAVE LIVES. So it must be ok!

I also just wanted to give  a shout out to @annacarsarina, who has also set up her new account all about Mid-Size and Mid-Age style – she has carefully curated such a beautiful feed full of body happiness and inspiration. So thank you Anna – and thank you to all the other women mentioned above (and to those beyond this blog post) who have shown true and honest versions of themselves in a bid to normalise body confidence. THANK YOU. You are wonderful women and it’s also kind of ridiculous that we’re even having to write about this in 2018, isn’t it? Anyway, again, thank you for being YOU. I wouldn’t be sat here typing this out, without you.

So from this day forward, I swear I’m going to be happier in my own skin – I’m going to ALLOW photographs to be taken of me, candid or otherwise. I’m not about to jump into a bikini and show off all my bits… but I promise that I’m going to beat these bloody body confidence blues and get on with my life. Because you know what? Life is too hard and too tiring and it’s just too damn short to be fussing over what you look like in a pair of skinny jeans or with your arms out… or ON THE DAMN BEACH. Yes I could do with loosing a few more pounds (I cycle every day for almost 2 hours, but I also love crisps and chips and gravy), but importantly, I’m giving up on feeling body-shame and I’m going to embrace what I have, in the now and at the minute. And I would urge you to do the very same.

I cannot imagine what life must be like for those who are bringing up daughters. The pressure must just be so immense surrounding body positivity. I find it difficult enough bringing up a son in this world and talk endlessly to Eli about how we’re all different shapes and sizes and colours and that’s what makes us all so cool! The fact we’re all different and truly unique and diverse. The more we educate and understand and share the honesty, then the more NORMAL this whole movement will become. Hopefully, it won’t even BE a movement any longer – because, we’re all just out there living our best lives.

Additionally, I’m going to be using my social media platforms as a place to shout about Petite styles and fashion and inspiration because no, there isn’t enough of it out there. I’ve always tried to be inclusive of my styling tips/recommendations, but the industry definitely isn’t inclusive of people like me and my size. So sod the industry, and PETITE WOMEN, LET’S UNITE! #PetiteWomenUnite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there we have it.  My body confidence post, DONE.

Peace & Love

C
✖✖✖

 

 

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THE EDIT: Something For The Weekend | 03/06.

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I’m going to be curating a weekly ‘Top 8’, ahead of the weekend, looking mostly at online shops. This week I’ve looked at the New Arrivals of some of my favourite online shops. All products are available currently on the UK sites and are priced in GBP. It’s been a real mixed bag weather-wise, so this week’s Edit reflects that!

This week’s online shopping Edit:

1: HELMUT LANG: Oversized Cashmere Coat – £955.

2: MARKUS LUPFER: Embellished Sweatshirt – £250.

3: ASOS: Pintuck Blouse with tie detail – £36.

4: SAINT LAURENT: Leopard Lunchbox Bag – £1095.

5: ANNINA VOGEL: Horsehoe Necklace, 9ct Gold – £250.

6: TOPSHOP: Ruffled Peplum Top – £40.

7: TOPSHOP: Topshop Boutique Boyfriend Jean – £55.

8: TOPSHOP: FANG Flatform Sandal – £49.

#MoMSFTW 

MM.

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Brand in Focus | Nor-Folk.

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I have a natural affinity for Norfolk, with my long, long, long, long, long (etc) lost ancestor’s naming their own land in Norfolk with our very own family surname – Briston. But it was Nor-Folk, the brand, who I fell in love with on Instagram last year (@Nor_Folk). Not only is this a brand that is founded by a Husband-and-Wife design team, but its an effortlessly cool brand to boot. Fiona and Bobby, along with their super-stylish (and super-cute) son Stanley, live in the most incredible of homes;and together they are The Nor-Folk. They’re a design-led lifestyle brand, who design and print their own clothing range, collaborate on Homeware & Gifts and feature local Norfolk contributors on the Journal.

As someone who has a very definite WORK HARD attitude, in all things in life, I thought that the  ‘Work Hard’  Adult Tee was a proper piece of me. Of course, I found the #Twinning combination of ‘Play Hard’ Kids’ Tee completely irresistible and ordered both as soon as we were finally moved in Berlin. (Play Hard, a perfect slogan for my little one who cannot wait for play time!).

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Eli was given the ‘Hello’ Tee as a gift from our lovely friends at Christmas (lucky boy!). Sadly, it wasn’t quite the right size. So I got in touch with Fiona (who I didn’t expect to be working over the festive period) and she replied at lightening speed. As the tee was purchased in the UK, but we’re now in Berlin, it made sense to send the new size of this wicked tee directly to me. After just a few emails all was arranged and a few days later the replacement tee was on my desk in Prenzlauer Berg. A really small team, but a team that fundamentally strives for customer care.

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Both of these Tee’s are available in Black or White options, for the ultimate in minimal monochrome styling. I love that all the designs are unisex too. With my Mama-head on, I might also add that these cotton tee’s wash exceptionally well and are just so wonderfully soft. The three styles we own are all made in the U.K. and are finished with the hand printing in Norfolk itself. Which is just ace of base.

There’s something a little bit special about buying products from a family-run business; whether that be a Husband-and-Wife team or a Mum/Dad-preneur. You’re not funding a corporate machine – you’re supporting real people. A real family. And that feels really good.

Wishing Fiona, Bobby and the Nor-Folk team lots of luck and adventures for the exciting year a head. We look forward to seeing the brand grow from strength to strength!

Check out more from Nor-Folk here.

MM.

 

ABOUT NOR-FOLK:

We are the Nor-Folk

Nor-Folk is a graphic design-led lifestyle brand founded by husband-and-wife graphic designers who reside in Norfolk, UK.

“Together, we design and curate apparel and products for the whole family with a timeless minimalist design aesthetic.

“We create and sell products we love and want in our own lives. We passionately adhere to the sentiment ‘less is more’ and ‘quality over quantity’ in our product creation.

“Our family and adventures are our canvas and muse – we invite you to share in our journey and that of our contributors via our Journal.

“Together, we are the Nor-Folk.”

*NB: This is in no way a sponsored post. I just wanted to big up a brand whom I think is frikkin amazing*.

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REVIEW | BLEACH London.

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A few months ago I decided I wanted to be back blonde. Truth be told, I was bored with my dip dye; despite it being very low-maintenance. I thought it might be nice to be a ‘natural’ blonde – something along the lines of Sienna Miller. After 6 boxes of home dye I realised it just wasn’t going to happen. And now I had weird wishy-washy dip dye. YACK.

“Why didn’t you just visit a salon?”, I hear you ask. Well, juggling Mr Eli, work, driving lessons (yes, I am 10 years late to the game) and sorting out the day-to-day running of your family home does not leave much time in the way of pampering. (In fact, it leaves zero time!). I’d dyed my hair on an evening once Eli was in bed and Mr Memoirs could tend to him while my hair “developed” – albeit, it didn’t develop into much as I previously mention.

Fed up – I came to the decision that I now wanted to go back to my not so natural roots.  The platinum (with an old ladies blue rinse mixed in for good measure) me. The old me.

I’d seen LOADS of hype about BLEACH London. The salon itself residing in WAH Nails on Kingsland Road, was masterminded by Alex Brownsell (super hair colourist extraordinaire) and Samantha Teasdale (brains behind the business – also a one time friend-of-a-friend and Teasdale Twin to Louise; the actual live-in hair stylist for One Direction).

Anyway, I digress.

BLEACH London have done incredibly well – obviously helped along by their insane black book of celebrity clients, of course – but they have only been open just over a year. The salon prides itself as the first people to recreate the Ombre look. A BLEACH London dip-dye is not for the faint hearted, think rainbows and My Little Pony. Just amazing unconventional dye jobs – that also remind me of Kate Winslet’s character, “Clementine Kruczynski”, in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of our all time favourite films, EVER!). You also won’t fail to notice that BLEACH London cleverly names itself after it’s speciality (bleaching, and lots of it) and after the Nirvana album (which famous font they also share).

Back in October, BLEACH London launched a range of vibrant dyes, treatments and styling products to Boots.You can purchase in store and online at Boots.com, choosing from colours such as Awkward Peach, Washed Up Mermaid and Bruised Violet. All products in the range cost under £10; which is ridiculously good, considering!

I purchased two boxes of the Total Bleach and a box of White Toner (in the 3 for 2 at Boots). I have used both boxes of bleach and the White Toner and this is the current result:

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I absolutely LOVE the Total Bleach. It smelt like really strong peroxide as I was mixing it and took my breath away at times – but the consistency is great. It goes on fairly easily, but would recommend you buy two boxes for hair longer than mine as it doesn’t stretch too far. Within the Total Bleach box you also get a mixing bowl, mixing brush and gloves. In both the Total Bleach and White Toner boxes you also get a tube of the amazing Reincarnation Mask; which I was going to purchase on it’s own anyway. The tube states to keep the mask on for up to 20 minutes or so; but twice now I’ve left the conditioning treatment on my hair for a few hours and kept it covered with a shower cap. This has DEFINITELY rescued my poor hair which has been through the mill, to say the very least!

BLEACH London is my new favourite bleach. It feels like it is very kind on my hair and it actually feels in a much better condition now than it did before I started the bleaching process. I’m so so happy with it. The colour is even and has a lovely shimmer, which I didn’t get with the previous brands I’ve used to achieve this same colour. I’m also using the following BLEACH London products:

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BLEACH London Reincarnation Mask, £6.00 – Boots.com
This mask smells so so nice – almost like Men’s aftershave; not your usual fruity scent. My hair has a shimmer and feels so much stronger and less dry. I will be using the mask once a week to keep on top of dryness and damage.

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BLEACH London Silver Shampoo, £5.00 – Boots.com
I have used several ‘silver’ shampoo’s in my time as a platinum blonde – but NONE of them compare to this one from BLEACH London. Again, it smells divine and took every tiny bit of yellowy tone that was present away. It’s made my hair very ashy, which is the look I was going for! Careful though, this could make your hair pretty blue if left on too long. I would also recommend that your alternate using different shampoo’s to avoid toner build up; which will definitely result in blue hair (unless thats what you’re wanting of course!).

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BLEACH London Split Fix Serum, £6.00 – Boots.com
I’m finishing my hair with this incredible serum. I’ve tended to avoid things like this previously as they can be overly greasy and do more harm than good. But not this Split Fix Serum! This serum is amazing, it is controlling my hair like nothing else, fights frizz and fly away – without weighing my hair down. It also has that wonderful scent to it. I’ve been using this serum both on towel dried hair and on dry hair to tame those fly aways.

I seriously cannot recommend the BLEACH London range enough. I’m shocked and surprised at how good each and every product is – I’ve seen amazing results of their rainbow home-dyes too. Check out their Instagram for updates from their many happy customers! @BLEACHLondon.

Would you dare to experiment with the BLEACH London range? Would love to see your results!

MM.

 

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REVIEW | Meadham Kirchhoff x AMAZON.

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Following the amazingly successful sweater collaboration last year, Meadham Kirchhoff and online retailer, Amazon, have joined forces again for this incredible 4-piece silk scarf collection.

London Fashion Week design duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff are famed for their rebellious take on fashion. This second collaboration with Amazon Fashion is an exclusive collection of four distinctive scarves, in the spirit of the designers’ main catwalk collections.

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to get involved with this collaboration as I’d very much enjoyed their initial offering with Amazon – and we all know how Meadham Kirchhoff flies out of Topshop!

My absolute favourite scarf from this collection is ‘PEARLS’. The print is so pretty, and of course, I love all things gold.  I really like how it’s been styled on the model too (take a look at all the below photos for some unique scarf styling!).

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Each silk scarf is pretty massive and measures 120cm x 120cm! So LOTS of value for the £75.00 price tag. These scarves are all limited edition and can only be purchased from Amazon Fashion, here: MEADHAM KIRCHHOFF FOR AMAZON FASHION. PLUS, if you’re UK based you already qualify for FREE delivery – BOOM!

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“Pearl scarf is an ornate design of baroque gold detailing and drop pearls that we featured in our S/S 13 collection”.
Click here to purchase the PEARL scarf.

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“The Drawings scarf is a visual archive of Edward’s sketches from the ‘Cosmology of Women’ Autumn’11 show”. 
Click here to purchase the DRAWINGS scarf.

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“The Curtains scarf features signature imagery from our Spring/Summer ’13 collection, in this case opulent swaggered curtains with ornate gold fringes”.
Click here to purchase the CURTAINS scarf.

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“The Ballerina scarf features the tiny ballerina motif from our Autumn/Winter ’13 collection in a fresh new colourway. The artwork originates from a vintage silk scarf”.
Click here to purchase the BALLERINA scarf.

Which is your favourite scarf? And are there any different ways you’d style any of these scarves?

MM.

 

NB: I was sent the Meadham Kirchhoff x Amazon ‘PEARL’ scarf, for free, for the purposes of this review.  All opinions in this review are my own and are 100% honest. 

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Dungarees set to make a comeback?

Maternity Dunagrees, £38. Topshop.com

We bought our little babbit a pair of amazing Dungarees from Zara last week… and it got me thinking about Maternity Dunagrees. Was this not the staple to all pregnant ladies’ wardrobes, way back when? I jokingly said to OH I’d have to get a Vintage pair and team them with a lovely Laura Ashley blouse and huge headband…. But then thought of the absolute hassle a pair of dungarees really is. The frequency of which I frequent the loo these days is incredible. Imagine having to faff on with the buttons on a pair of dungarees every time?!

Or am I missing the point? Are dungarees really that comfy for a pregnant lady? I can’t help but think I’d also look like a small child with big pot belly if I got a pair, I am only 5 foot nothing, after all!

What do you think? Dungarees, yay or nay? I found it very interesting that high street favourites, Topshop, are attempting to bring the faithful dungarees back – just spied the above pair in their Maternity New Arrivals!

MM.

 

 

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Crave Maternity: The Outlet.

So it was recently brought to my attention that the lovely Crave Maternity website now offers an Outlet section!

You can shop all of their clearance styles by size – which makes it much quicker to shop. Also, each item is only available while the stocks last – so you have to be quick! No hesitating!

Shop now>> Click here to shop the Outlet section!


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New Look: Maternity collection re-launch!

High Street favourites, New Look, have just re-launched their Maternity range with a bang! They’ve created a dedicated section on their site to shop and explore – with styling and fit guides, as well as how to dress like celebrity-mothers-to-be.

New Look are also offering yummy mummy favourite brands exclusively online – check out Mamalicious Maternity and Heavenly Bump Maternity.

Along with the site relaunch there are some really nice Spring/Summer pieces available. It’s also worth noting that their Jeans range come in a variety of sizes and leg lengths! 34″, 32″, 30″ and 28″ – which is absolutely brilliant considering I’m a petite mum-to-be. This is the first retailer that I’ve so far seen offering a variety of leg lengths – so kudos to New Look!

Here are some of my favourite styles that I’m just going to have to purchase!

Mama.Licious Hillary V Neck Dress, £39.99. Click here to purchase exclusively at NewLook.com

Jersey Maxi Dress, £19.99. Click here to purchase exclusively at NewLook.com

Mama.Licious City Striped Long Tee, £21.99. Click here to purchase exclusively at NewLook.com


28″ Skinny Jeans, Was £15.99 Now £10.99. Click here to purchase exclusively at NewLook.com


3 Pack of bump bands, £9.99. Click here to purchase exclusively at NewLook.com


2 Pack of full length Leggings, £14.99. Click here to purchase exclusively at NewLook.com


Butterfly Dress, £27.99. Click here to purchase exclusively at NewLook.com

MM.