IT'S A BIG DAY

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Today is a big day. A life changing day. A momentous occasion. 

Today, I didn't open a packet of contraceptive pills to protect me for the next twenty one days of my cycle. Today, I will not be taking a pill that contributes towards a fake period, mood swings, headaches and - worst of all, for me- weight gain. 

Yep, it's been five, almost six, long years but it's over. On Sunday the 23rd of October I took my last pill and for the first Monday in forever I will not be starting a new packet. It's been a hard decision to make, because the pill is so...so, convenient. I can skip periods if I have an event or holiday coming up, it eases tummy cramps and so on. 

But it's time for a break. I had no idea that periods on the pill weren't 'real' so to speak, until about a year ago (I know, stupid me right?). Also, it's not recommended to be on the pill for more than five years, so my time is up. And also, over the last year I have heard nothing but bad stories and experiences from friends and bloggers who use the pill. 

Truthfully, it was the weight issue that was the deciding factor for me. I definitely gained weight on the pill, and I've been told my weight loss will be more effective when I'm off the pill, as well as losing weight just by not taking the pill anymore. I'm hoping not using the pill will help me lose the weight I've been trying to lose since- well. Since I started taking the pill! 
               
BEFORE TAKING THE PILL

AFTER TAKING THE PILL
                                                                               

Obviously the weight gain has not been purely down to the pill but  it has contributed massively. And to be honest, I'm looking forward to having real periods again, getting in touch with my body again and getting everything working healthily and organically. 

Let me know about your experience of coming off the pill! Is there anything I should be expecting? Let me know in the comments below! 

Love from,
Florence Grace 
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Pre-birthday celebrations!

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Okay, so my birthday isn't until Tuesday but I'm going to be celebrating my birthday for the next week, and it all kicked off today with a pre-birthday meal to TGI Friday's with my mum and my sisters. None of us had been before or knew what to expect so we were all really looking forward to going. I knew it wasn't a particularly fancy place to go but I decided I wanted to dress nicely anyway, so I even bought some new culottes or the occasion (I totally don't have these trousers in three different colours now...)





When we got to TGI's we realised it was more of an American diner style restaurant than we had thought! Outside the sign was lit up with spotlights and there was an almost life sized yellow taxi outside, like a New York cab! 




When we got inside we were seated right away by an incredibly friendly waitress, and our waitress for the night (who was different from the one that greeted us) was equally as friendly! She was polite, attentive and helpful with food suggestions and whether to go for small portions or large and so on. The atmosphere was very nice, there was a good, varied playlist and the decor of the restaurant was pretty cool too! Because of the time of year that it is, there were Halloween decorations up and everyone was dressed in Halloween costumes, which was cool! 



The menu was very varied, with a lot of options to choose from so it took a while to pick something! Eventually I settled for the creamy Cajun shrimp pasta with a Woowoo cocktail, while my sisters and mum all settled for a Cheesburger Deluxe.





The desserts menu was just as plentiful and it took at least ten minutes to choose what we all wanted but eventually we ordered a cookie dough New York cheesecake, a popcorn brownie sundae and a rocky road sundae (which was mine!).



What you don't know about your dessert is that if you're celebrating an occasion, when they bring your dessert over, the whole waiting team come over, make you stand on a chair (although I didn't do that as I was in heels!), say "Hi my name is *insert name* and it's my birthday" and then they all make the restaurant pipe down, introduce you to everyone eating and sing a birthday song with lots of clapping to you! It was a little embarrassing I must say but it was also a nice touch and I really enjoyed it. On this day a year ago I had the singing dog at Frankie and Benny's and this year I had singing waiters at TGI Fridays! 

It was a really lovely meal. The restaurant was great, the food was delicious and the staff were all so lovely. It was a great way to kick off my birthday celebrations and I would definitely make a return! 


Love from,
Florence Grace 

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HALLOWEEKEND!

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Today's post is going to be very, very brief! 

This year, Halloween falls on a Monday, and if that doesn't sum up 2016 I don't know what does! Instead of celebrating on the day, a lot of people are celebrating this weekend, 'Halloweekend'. I am no exception here! I hosted a Halloween dinner party for my sisters and my mum. I decorated the dining room with a tonne of sparkly, spooky decorations and whipped up a banquet fit for the Gods for them! 

Thankfully, they loved it, and there will be photos to follow in a more detailed post tomorrow. However, now that we've finished eating, the festivities are continuing! We're all going to sit down with some Halloween sweets and watch Scream while we carve pumpkins! How cute, right?

We get an extra hour of the day today as the clocks go back tonight- not only does that mean we get an extra hour sleep but it means the mornings will be darker, the evenings will be darker and that Christmas is literally just around the corner! Eeeek!

Anyway, I have to go and enjoy my Halloweekend festivities with my family! I hope you're all having a fab weekend doing your own Halloween-y things! 

Love from,
Florence Grace 

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Makeup Revolution I AM FREEDOM Final!

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Last night (Thursday 27th October) I had the pleasure and good luck of attending Makeup Revolution's I AM FREEDOM finale party/Halloween party! I had attended the Makeup Revolution second birthday party back in March and so when I was emailed about this party, I knew I had to attend, because boy, oh boy, do Makeup Revolution know how to throw a party!

The theme was cocktail party with your own Halloween twist, so everyone's outfits were quite varied! While my bestie Bobbie was sporting a pair of angel wings, and my blogging pal Julia a unicorn horn, I chose to stick simply with Halloween colours- red and black. I wore a red sequinned cocktail dress and went for scarlett lips, blood red nails and a dark smoky eye look. To be honest, I was really feelin' myself, and I did receive a lot of compliments which was nice, so I'm definitely going to be trying this look out again! 

Excuse my yellow eyes! 


The party was held at DSTRKT in London, somewhere I'd heard about lots but never been too, so already I was excited. When we arrived, there were Halloween decorations and Makeup Revolution products everywhere- in contrast to the Halloween decor, there was a Christmas corner, with a Christmas tree and all of the Revolution products from this year (I want them all!). 





Drinks were free all night and you could have as many as you liked, which was a bonus! The canapes circulating the room were also amazing- mini burgers (difficult to eat at such a glamorous occasion), mozzarella bites, chicken satay and sushi; you were hardly stuck for choice! 



There was a photobooth/gif machine like last time, which was as fun as you would expect! I really love making silly gifs of myself, as vain as that might sound! 





The competition itself was intense. Adam Minto, founder of the Revolution, gave a heartfelt speech about how much we all meant to his business. He's always so humble and appreciative, it's quite lovely! Due to technical difficulties, there was a brief Q and A, where I went straight for it and asked "Will you hire me?". He laughed and said that most people on his team were from social media and has asked for their jobs, so he didn't say yes...but he definitely didn't say no! There is hope yet...



While everyone was casting the votes for who they wanted to win, people suddenly noticed that there was something inside some of the Halloween decor...at the front of the venue there was a large cauldron that everyone, myself included, had been taking selfies with. This cauldron turned out to be FILLED with Makeup Revolution products! It was like a lucky dip and you could take as much as you wanted! I came away with a nice variety of products but I would just like to say that wow. Some of the girls- and even the boys!- were like s a v a g e s. I swear, some were basically doing handstands into the cauldron, not letting anyone else in, taking as much as they could like they'd never seen, been given or used a makeup product before! It was quite disgusting behaviour from some, but aside from that negative, it was quite fun having a dip into the cauldron and coming up with a surprise!



Anyway, the five finalists modelled their final look for us down a cat walk before we had to cast our votes! The final result was decided 50/50 by the guests of the party and by the panel of judges. All of the girls looked so incredible! (Xana was made up as a unicorn which was amazing!) and the results were so close that they actually classed four of the five girls as 'second' and then the winner! And the winner was... Lorna! Which I was so pleased about because I voted for her!


Lorna, the winner!



She was fortunate enough to win a cash prize of £20,000, a years supply of free makeup and a years contract with Makeup Revolution- which I'm not envious about at all.

After the results had been announced, the party began! There were hired dancers, some banging tunes and everyone just seemed to be having the best time- it was genuinely so much fun! Over the entire night I got to see the likes of Vix and Kirsty again, meet Laura from Lola&Behold and was reunited with my blogging pals Naddy and Julia, who I was at the previous event with, which was just lovely! Of course, my best pal Bobbie was there too and I also got to hang out with Xana a bit, so it was a really great night!






As we left, we were given cute little pots of sweets with fluffy pom pom gifts. These were the perfect snack for the long journey home! 



Makeup Revolution, you never disappoint! I had an amazing night, was spoiled rotten by the brand and got to hang out with some of my favourite people in the world. I love blogging, I feel so blessed by the doors it has opened to me and the people it has brought into my life and I'm honestly just so grateful! I can't wait for the next party...I hope I'm invited!

Love from,
Florence Grace
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Snapchat Stories I Hate To See

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Snapchat's popularity seems to have grown massively over the course of 2016- was this the year all the cool filters came out? I don't know. I had Snapchat when it first came out, then grew bored of it and deleted it. I redownloaded it this year, at the request of a guy who as it turns out, wanted to send me nudes. LOL. But that's another story. 

Having had Snapchat for the last ten months, there have been some similar snaps I've seen a lot that I absolutely despise. Let's see if you agree with me on this one... 

The Smoking Snap
Wow. Look at you. Blowing smoke in a totally ordinary way into the front facing camera of your phone. You look so cool right now, I can't even handle it. It's on another level, dude. Oh wait, you smoke? I didn't even realise! 



The Driving Snap
If you could keep both hands on the wheel and not risk other people's lives as you drive down a winding country road listening to some dubstep on an overly loud and extremely crackly 'sound system', then that would be almost as cool as, you know, snapping your poor driving skills. 



The Filter Snap
Or should I say, the filter snaps. Yes, we get it, every day there is like, 12 different filters on Snapchat. I don't need to see a selfie of you using every single filter, every single day. Just pick one. Or two. No more than three okay? And spread them out evenly over the next 24 hours for the love of God. 



The Pet Snap
Don't get me wrong, I love to see a cute pet on Snapchat. Show me all the cute animals please! Know what I don't love? People using every single filter on their pet. See the above point and apply to pets. (Particularly the dog face...on dogs)



The Kylie Jenner Snap
Ugh. THIS ONE KILLS ME. I can not abide seeing girls posing for the camera but making it a video, rather than a selfie, and playing some 'hood' tune in the background as they pout and flick their hair. STOP IT. 



Do you agree with this list? Is there any snaps you love or hate to see? Let me know in the comments below! 

Love from,
Florence Grace 
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Don't Be Jealous, Be Inspired

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"Don't be jealous, be inspired"

This is one of my favourite quotes ever. It rings particularly true with me, and I think that's why I like it so much. 

I have found myself the subject of jealous individuals since pursuing my media based career, and I have also been filled with jealousy as well. In both cases, neither have had a positive ending.

When people are jealous of me (that sounds so conceited to say but it has happened) it's always kind of bittersweet. I'm flattered because obviously it means I'm doing well in life if people want what I have/want to do what I do. But it's not such a great feeling because jealousy is such a negative emotion, and I hate to have people feel negatively toward me! 

Furthermore, it's weird if a 'friend' says they're jealous of me. Why would you be jealous of your friends? Surely they should be inspiring you, enlightening you. You should be proud of them, happy for them- not jealous of them! If it's not a 'friend' that's jealous, it's even weirder because if they're jealous of you, they often act negatively toward you, more so than a friend would- this is something that has happened to me and it's not something I want to go through again! 

The thing is, why would you ever waste your time being jealous of someone? Why sit, lusting over someone's life on social media, thinking about all of the things someone else has that you don't? What is the point of mooning over someone else's life and then complaining bitterly about your own?

Instead, why don't you look at these people you find yourself so jealous of and use them as a source of inspiration? Are they pursuing a career you'd like to do? Are they working on a project similar to something you'd like to be working on? Then have a look at what they're doing and how they're doing it! Now I'm not saying copy them, not by a long shot! But you can certainly use their motivation as a springboard for your own work. You can be inspired by them! 

Think how much better your life would be if you stopped feeling the negative emotions, such as jealousy, and started feeling more positive emotions, like being inspired! 

Obviously you're always going to have down days where you might envy someone else- they might be working on something similar to you and be a step or two ahead and so yes, you might feel a little envious. But don't let the feeling linger for too long and burn up inside you; it's so toxic to feel like that for too long. Get inspired, get motivated and start bettering yourself/your relationships/your career. You'll honestly feel so much better for it! 

When you see people doing better than you, doing things you'd like to do or seemingly just being happier than you, don't get jealous- get inspired!

Love from,
Florence Grace
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Eat What You Like!

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In keeping with yesterday's body positive post, I thought I'd write about food today. More specifically, about eating exactly what you like, when you want to. (Also it's #worldpastaday so a good time to write about food, right?)



Too often, people go on diets that starve them of food. Usually, it's carbs and sugar and fat. People think the only way to be healthy is to live solely off of vegetables and fruit, but they're wrong. There are different food groups for a reason; your body needs a healthy balance of them all in order to function properly. On top of your fruit and veg you need protein, you need carbs, you need fats and sugars.

The key to eating anything you want and maintaining a healthy body is to eat your favourite foods in moderation. Me, I could eat a share bag of dorito's to myself every day, easy peasy. Crisps are my weakness! But I know that I shouldn't- and therefore, I don't. Okay, okay, one in a blue moon I might treat myself, of me and my sister are having a movie night. But you get the gist of it.



To be healthy or even to lose weight, you don't have to deprive yourself of your favourite foods. Your body needs carbs, so don't cut out that food group- carbs give you a lot of your energy! Furthermore, cutting something out of your diet completely, e.g. sugar, only makes your body crave it more and its highly probable that you'll end up caving and having a total binge on your favourite junk food, which will totally reverse any weight loss you've been working towards and won't leave you feeling particularly great generally- because junk food never does, does it?

It's important to eat what you like. I'm so sick of seeing people say that XYZ is bad and should be avoided at all costs because you'll get fat otherwise!!! No, not every food is great for you, but in small quantities and in moderation, you should be able to enjoy the foods that you like! Life is too short to restrict yourself...go ahead and have that donut!

Love from,
Florence Grace
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Size is just a number!

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Weight is something I struggle with a lot. If you are a regular reader of my blog, or even just my social media, you'll know my relationship with food and my weight is a constant battle and I have good days and bad days and some really bad days. 

Recently, I've been losing weight. As always, it's been fluctuating a lot but I've been losing, and any loss is a loss which is obviously way better than a gain in my case. However, while I haven't noticed much weight change myself, other people have been commenting over the last few weeks over my weight loss and change in body shape, which has obviously made me feel far happier with myself and a lot more confident. 

Which is why today, I wanted to talk to you guys about clothes. More specifically, the sizes of clothes. 

I can confidently say I am a size 12. On good days, I am a size 10. On bad days (aka when I'm in H & M) I can sometimes be a 14. *Note I say bad day: bad for me as that's bigger than my usual size. There is nothing wrong with being a size 14 at all!* But in the last few years I've found shopping such a struggle. I can no longer say that I'm a solid size 12 because my size genuinely varies so much from shop to shop. I used to be able to go into a shop, pick up my size, know it would fit and buy it. Now I have to try on three sizes and find that one is too small and one is too big and one fits my waist but not my bum or whatever. Shopping is impossible. 

This really stops me from wanting to shop, particularly if I'm looking to buy fitted items, such as a bodycon dress. I don't want to have to buy a size bigger when I know I'm not! I want to be able to buy my size, even a size smaller when I know I've been losing weight! Is that really too much to ask? 

And then it dawned on me. 

Why the heck does it matter? Why the heck do I care? 

Let me share a few secrets with you. 


A while ago, I did a fashion shoot for my blog, a haul of all my Autumn clothes. And I'm not gonna lie when I say I know I look pretty damn good in the photos- not because I'm just feelin' myself but also because a lot of people gave me a lot of compliments; this doesn't normally happen and so I know these photo's were good! So here, I think I look pretty good, body shape is looking pretty on point. The body suit? A size 10. The jeans? A size 14. What a contrast is that? 



This outfit? The jeans are a size 12. The shirt is a petite size 10. The gillet is also a size 10. 

Bear with me because the extremes keep coming. 


This photo slaaaaaaays, right? This was the one you guys loved the most! Well guess what? That top is a size 10. That skirt? That gorgeous, lovely leather skirt that I look so sassy in? That's a size 16. Yep, you read that. A size 16. It's from Boohoo's plus sized section. Plus sized

I know I'm not fat. My belly isn't flat, it's got a little flabby pooch on the front of it, but I'm not fat, I'm not a 16 and I'm definitely not what people would consider plus sized; the fact that I'm wearing a Boohoo top and skirt in a size 10 and a size 16 says it all, I feel. You can't be one size anymore! 

I nearly didn't buy a leather skirt this year. I was having such a hard time finding one that would fit over my hips, as leather isn't a very generous fabric! I could just about squeeze into a size 14 and I was like no. I refuse to buy a 16 when I know I am a 12! 

And then it dawned on me. It really doesn't fucking matter, does it? Who the hell is going to know what size this skirt is? (Well, you all will now...). No one is going to look at the label, no one is going to point and stare and say "Ugh, she's wearing a size 16 and she's meant to be wearing a 12!". No one even needs to know my size! 

There is nothing wrong with wearing a 16. There is nothing wrong with wearing a 12. There is something wrong with body shaming, which has happened to me enough to make me feel embarrassed about my clothing sizes. At the end of the day though, who cares? If you like how you look and if you feel good in what you're wearing, who the hell cares? 

I can now squeeze into some size 8 items. I can fit size 10. I can comfortably wear size 12, and even 14's. And if I'm shopping for something in a not-very-generous fabric like leather, fuck it, I have to try a 16. 

I am pretty happy with how I look. I'm happy with how I dress. I like my style. 

If the size of an item bothers you that much, cut the label out. Don't let the number on the label stop you from buying something because honestly, the sizes vary so much from shop to shop and you're never going to be the same size everywhere. Don't be disheartened if you find you have to go a size or two up. Celebrate if you can get into a size smaller! But don't ever feel ashamed about the size you're having to buy if you love how you look. Size is really just a number. 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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Keep hold of the past

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I feel like I've blogged about a very similar topic to this before, but today I wanted to talk about the importance of looking back.

The past isn't always a happy place, there is absolutely no denying back. It can be filled with regret, mistakes, misery, unhappiness. Alternatively, it can be filled with happiness and joy and love. Either way though, its unhealthy to live in the past and a lot of people don't like to look back on most of it. However, for some things, it can be important to look back on your life and make comparisons to where you are now. 

Today, I was emptying a drawer of mine and I found the first, second and third issues of my magazine, Love from... . I looked at the first issue and I burst out laughing! Compared to the second issue it looked like a primary school project, and compared to the issue out now...well. There is no comparison. But for a moment, I really sat and reflected on the last two years of my life, particularly on my career. Without looking backwards on my career, I wouldn't be able to see how far forwards I had moved, and so for that reason, I really valued being able to reflect. 

I have also been taking the time to reflect on how I have evolved as a person this year. This time last year, I feel like I was totally different. I don't know if the change has been visible to other people, but I feel that both physically and mentally there have been a lot of changes- and these changes would not have been recognised by myself if I hadn't been able to look back on my past and make comparisons to where I am now. 

Now, there are some things in my past I'd like to totally forget, and I'm sure you have some things you wish you could wipe from your mind too- that is totally fine, of course it is! But don't wipe your past out completely. Whether you like to believe it or not, your past does contribute to the person you are today- and sometimes you need to look back on your past to appreciate the changes you've made or to see where it all went wrong and learn how to fix it. 

The past can be a lesson and a blessing. It can definitely form a better future for yourself, it you learn from it properly. 

Love from,
Florence Grace 
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The Sex Museum

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My recent trip to Amsterdam was actually my fourth visit there, and yet until this latest trip I had never been to the infamous Sex Museum. However, it was my sisters first time to the city and we wanted to do as many tourist-y things as possible, and visiting this museum was one of them. 

Now I'm not going to lie, I thought the museum would just be one big joke. I knew from friends visits that there were giant penis' inside that made for hilarious photos, and other outrageous models and such that were hilarious to take photo's of. So I thought this would be the same throughout the entire museum; a bit of a laugh, a bit of a joke.



How wrong was I! Admittedly, the first floor of the museum was quite funny, filled with humorous moving models that flashed you, 'peed' in your face, were performing sexual acts on each other and so in. It made me and my sister giggle, that's for sure. However, as we progressed to the second ad third floor of the museum, the tone of the museum totally changed. It was actually incredibly educational and informative- really!

The thing that got me and my sister most was the 'private' photographs that had been donated to the museum. These pornographic photographs were from as late as the 90's, which we expected, and they demonstrated couples, both homosexual and heterosexual, performing sexual acts on each other. I don't think I need to describe to you what the photo's were like- I'm sure you can imagine! 

What shocked us was how far back the photo's went. It might sound naive or stupid but I never thought of sex being "fun" until the 50's. Before then, I believed that sex was just for reproducing, you know? How wrong was I! The pornographic photo's went back to the beginning of the 1800's. And when I say they were pornographic, I don't just mean posing naked. I mean that they were using things like stocks to pin each other down and whipping each other with cat o' nine tails and brooms, getting into positions I haven't even seen in modern day porn, I swear to God! There was even a classic porn scene being captured, of teacher and student! It was truly incredible and I had no idea such exciting sex had existed as far back as the 1800's. 

I was stunned. When we speak of the Victorian times, we speak of women being seen and not heard. We hear all about the fact that women didn't have equal rights- and the fact that feminism basically didn't exist. But we definitely don't hear about how sexually liberated *some* of the women were. Visiting the museum and seeing these real life photo's was a genuine eye opener, and I couldn't believe I had been so naive up until now. 



The other thing I loved about the personal photo collection was seeing how women's bodies had changed throughout porn. I genuinely couldn't believe my eyes. In the beginning, in the 1800's and the start of the 1900's, women had bellies! And I'm not talking a size 10/12, lil' bit chubby (you know, Boohoo's idea of plus sized) I'm talking big bellies. Flab. Rolls and folds on the tummy. And they stood there, sexually confident. They looked sexy. They were attractive. I loved it. What I loved was that there was also skinny women too. Sometimes the skinny and large women were featured together, and it just looked great. It worked. It showed a real portrayal of women in sex. 

What I didn't love was watching how the women changed throughout the photographs. By the 1950's, women in the mainstream media and in these photographs weren't 'fat' anymore, they were more curvy (think Marilyn Monroe, and slightly bigger) but their stomachs were mostly flatter than in previous years, and everyone featured was pretty much the same shape. By the 1990's, the women were all stick thin, like Kate Moss. No flab, no rolls, no curves. Just thin, slender women. And yes, they were still gorgeous, they still looked sexually confident, they still looked fabulous! But I just couldn't believe what a drastic change I was seeing before my very eyes, with the variety of body shapes dwindling down to just one standard body; size 6. 

If 'fat' women were once perceived as sexy and attractive, why aren't they still perceived the same way today? When did this shift happen, and why? It just doesn't seem right. Again, it's probably naive of me but I always assumed models were thin the way they are today. I had no idea that 'fat' people were used as much as thin women are today, if not more. It baffled me and it made me sad about the women we see in mainstream media today. 

Overall, the trip to the Sex Museum was really educational for me. It gave me an insight into the sexual history of women to as far back as the 1800's and opened up my eyes to just how extreme the changes to women's bodies have been. I hope one day we will go back to having more diverse bodies being perceived in the media as sexy and attractive; we need a little more diversity and there is certainly room for it. What do you think?

Love from,
Florence Grace 
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