I live by my own design…

January has been a slog. It always is, right? It’s cold, we’re skint and coming down from the festive season. It always drags, but we’ve made it through. In the spirit of silver linings I thought I would share the things I enjoyed about Jan ‘22.

Carry On

I spent a lot of time having a good old carry on with my little ones. My 3yr old nephew thrashed me at arcade games. My 4yr old niece decided she only wanted to be in photos if they involved crazy filters. I taught my 2,3 & 5 year old nephews how to play ‘pile on’; their parents were delighted. The twins are now in the move & finding their voices (noisily). Last, but certainly not least my oldest girl has been texting me in French & Russian. What’s not to love about this amazing bunch?

Montage of toddlers & babies having a carry on

Yellowjackets

Stumbled upon this by accident and I’m so glad I did. It’s a bit ridiculous, but also so good. Strong (kinda crazy) female leads, which is totally my jam. Oh & it’s half set in the 90’s. It’s American 90’s which is not quite as good as home style, but still awesome.

Yellowjacket’s promo pic (a close up of a girl with green eyes, a tense expression & a wasp on her face)

The Ordinary

I am a picker. If I have a blemish or a scab or blister I am entirely unable to leave it alone. Thus I have long been in search of product that will reduce blackhead etc and shrink my pores. I think I may finally have found a winner. The Ordinary salicylic acid 2% solution has been having good results. Hopefully it will stop me spending hours in front of my magnifying mirror. The Ordinary are vegan & affordable, so I’m a fan.

The ordinary salicylic acid in a brow glass bottle on tartan background n

Emmy Meli

Another accidental discovery that I am very happy about. Emmy Meli apparently posted the hook on Tik Tok and the went out for some drinks with friends. The next day it gone wild, spurning thousands of videos of women acting out her lyrics. She of course decided to finish the song and it is a massive hit. I first heard it on tik tok and then searched it out online because it was instant love. I am so into how fresh & empowering she is. I love the sound of her voice and how upbeat this song is. I really like how spontaneously this song into life. Emmy at full volume has been helping me get things done all month.

Emmy Meli I am Woman Tik Tok video

Clogs

I’ve always been partial to a clog, but the whole Croc thing put me off. Well, the clogs are back. I found these animal print beauties that are also exceptionally comfortable. I will be buying them in every variety. They’re from Vegan Flats.

Even cooler with clashing socks.

Wilde Mode

Forever in love with this brand. The second I knew there was a new was a new fuck u print I had to have it. These are the bat knickers on the planet. I always feel better knowing I’m wearing my frustrations on my arse!

plus size women wearing wildemode knickers & holding boobs with her hands r
Pants – Wilde Mode
* Brand Ambassador

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I feel like throwing my hands up in the air…

I have been catching up with And just like that & I’m having a lot of feelings. I know, I know, it’s a tv show. These people aren’t real. Except, they kind of are. A little bit.

S&TC caught me at just the right time. I started watching right before leaving home & starting uni. I continued through 18 to 24, prime discovering yourself, life & love years. I re-watched again & again, Carrie & the gals my trusted companions. It hasn’t all aged well, there’s some really dodgy shit. Plus sometime I don’t even like them; Carrie could be truly toxic things. But, I still love them. There was nothing else talking about the kind of female sexuality I was exploring in the late 90’s. There were little bits of myself & my friends in all of the fab four. I could relate to their sexual & romantic adventures. I knew the unbreakable bond of female friendship. Carrie was a writer with a penchant for the older man for goodness sake. Then of course it was all so much more glamorous than my life. They were running around Manhattan in Manolos, whilst I could barely afford Malboro lights & rent on my dodgy student flats. We were both hiding our broken hearts in a haze of smoke & high heels, though. Fantasy wrapped up in just enough reality to capture my heart.

So, I loved them. I felt like I knew them inside out. Both the characters & the all the fragments of real people I saw in them. I have twenty odd years invested in these tv people. That’s crying on the sofa, drinking cocktails with the girls, hungover Sundays, hours of explaining to stupid boyfriends why Aidan wasn’t right & so much more. I want them to be happy. Real life is perilous on the happy ending front, but when last we saw Carrie & Co is was as close to a fairy tale as you get in NYC.

Miranda, Carrie, Charlotte & Samantha in coats walking in the street

I awaited this re boot with trepidation. There was never any chance of me not partaking, but I was worried. I feared they’d mess it all up. Successful drama needs conflict and I didn’t want my middle aged babes involved in any of that. They almost killed me with that first episode. I was always rooting for Big, even when he was a total fuckwit. I wanted Carrie & John to grow old together in harmony. Given what we found out about Chris Noth, it’s just as well they killed him off (but I can still mourn the character, right?). We also had Samantha’s absence to deal with. That empty chair at the restaurant. Those flowers at the funeral. It’s heartbreaking. I’m 41 now, I know those female bonds aren’t always so indestructible, but this is fantasy. Samantha would never have had such a silly huff. Two hard blows right from the kick off. The rest are good. I can take it.

Then comes Che and all bets are off. All of sudden I’m supposed to believe that Steve can’t make Miranda cum? The Steve that knew how to get her off from night one? They make him some lame guy who can’t finger his wife. Now Miranda is running off to surprise Che, who will almost certainly be screwing someone else when she gets there. I don’t want this. I want my loyal cynical Miranda with her sweet, loving Steve. I’m taking this betrayal personally.

That’s before I even touch on how they handled Stanford’s exit. Carrie going on dates or that hideous new apartment. Thank god for Charlotte & Harry. I hope. I may be a bit more jaded and lot less likely to fall head over heels, but I can’t take it if all those happily ever afters fall apart. Make believe is supposed to offer some escapism. Will no one think of the ageing romantics?

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Who wants to be a millionaire?…

It occurred to me recently that had I ever followed through with my invention I may be rolling in it by now. I know I don’t seem like high powered entrepreneur, but I’ve actually had a few amazing ideas that turned into real money spinners. Join me as trawl through the ideas I should have got a patent for!

The Vajazzle

Yes. Really. Way back in 1999 I came up with that idea. I welcomed a boyfriend back from a trip at Xmas time with a glittery festive shape instead of a landing strip. It was a hit. A mere decade later those damn Essex girls stole my idea and made a mint.

ly is naked holding her boobs.  There are lovehearta hiding her breats and a sign  saying nothing to see in front of her vulva

Folding Flats

You know those clever little ballet flats that fold into a tiny pouch? My best friend and I had that idea in the 90’s too. Sick of walking around barefoot holding our heels after a night out we drunkenly came up with fold away shoes. As with most 4am ideas we did no follow through. A few years later some other more committed bugger actually made them. Another money making opportunity missed.

Nail Art

Oh I know, this seems unlikely. It’s still true. I’ve been painting designs on my finger nails since my early teens. Granted, I wasn’t always good at it, but I was absolutely doing it before it was a thing. My little sister even got in on the act way before any professional salons started offering it. We were trailblazers. These days we both pull off amazing nails, but other folks are raking in the cash.

Pale pink and blue manicure with half pink/half blue love hearts n

Armery

In the early 2010’s Mary Portas Lauched her Armery collab with Charnos (many brands have had similar designs since). She claimed it was her revolutionary idea, sleeves that could be worn under anything for women who didn’t want bare arms. Well, once again, I beg to differ. Portas was not the first to think this up. Myself & many other self harmers had been taking scissors to tights to fashion an identical product forever. Necessity is the mother of invention. Hiding the tell tale signs of our terrible secret had us innovating long before Mary. It’s pity some of us didn’t get together and launch the idea.

Torso of model wearing black vest and blue Armery sleeves

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How about no?

Every now & again I realise that I kind of hate all the latest ‘must haves’. Summer 21 is definitely one of those moments. Thus, I invite you to join me as I trash all the things I really don’t want.

Big Collars

Everywhere I look folk are adding massive collars to everything they own. I can’t stand it. It’s twee in the worst possible way. They’re the ugly offspring of 80’s maternity & flower girl fashion. I feel especially nauseous when I see someone sporting a large doily style collar on a pastel knit. It has to stop. Please.

Pale blue cardigan with white lace colour
Nope

Pampas Grass

Is that even the correct name? It’s that awful fluffy stuff that keeps turning up in floral arrangements. Usually accompanied by weird dusky pink dried flowers. It’s another 80’s revival that we should have left to rot. The fluff gets everywhere, they always flop & there’s that urban legend about swinging. I’ll stick to fresh blooms, thanks.

pampas  grass & dried flower arrangement
Nope

Hankie Tops

I’m usually all for a 90’s throwback. It was a bloody good decade with some excellent fashion. Hankie tops, however, were awful then & even worse now. I still have nightmares about the lemon yellow gingham hankie top I struggled to keep my boobs in on a second date in 1998. I can’t forgive the pitiable piece of fabric masquerading as a garment.

Candlelit Concert

In theory, I actually love this idea. The first candlelit concert I saw advertised was Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in a beautiful theatre. I could see the appeal. It must have been a success because now there is a candle lit EVERYTHING. Abba, Disney, Daft Punk, ballet (is that safe?), songs of Barry Manilo! I’m out.

Bare Midriff Belt

I couldn’t tolerate Carrie Bradshaw belting her belly button. So, I’m definitely not going to find it charming this time around. Can’t we ever learn from our mistakes?

Carrie Bradshaw wearing Gucci belt on bare midriff . ASOS model wearing jeans & belt in bare midriff
Nope & Nope

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Go on & fool me…

In lieu of excellent fashion content (currently live in jammies) I thought I’d give you a wee injection of nail art joy. I’m hoping I may find the motivation to wear something awesome soon. Please stick with me!

My lovely mother has a habit of buying presents, forgetting about them & stumbling upon them after intended event. Thus I received a big bag of extra Xmas presents last week. Included was some excellent holographic polish from M&S. Cruelty free & hard wearing. I recommend. I’m loving this broken mirror look.

Silver nails with black shattered glass effect

I layered the Barry M Hi Vis blue to create this cute night & day manicure. The Hi Vis range is so good for creating your own shades. They look amazing on their own and make totally new shades if applied on top of another colour.

Blue manicure with clouds &  sun on one hand moon &  stars on other

Finally a wee homage to my youth with these 90’s Romeo & Juliet inspired nails. I went on a kind of mass date (with half my year group) to see the Baz Luhrmann R&J and adored the aesthetic. I also played the soundtrack non stop for about 2yrs. Needless to say, I was a fan.

90’s Romeo & Juliet style manicure with flaming hearts, gold barbed wire & tattoo style roses

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The revolution awaits…

It’s been one of hell of a week. On top of quite the year. I’m sure I’m not the only one still processing the gigantic mess. Sometimes I find it easier to let off steam about the little things. I invite you to join me in a big sigh of relief that Trump will soon be gone & an equally big moan about some non life & death grievances.

Trivial annoyance no 1; the shacket. You’ll no doubt have seen an influencer raving about this shirt/jacket hybrid by now. I’m afraid I must strongly protest. For starters that name gives me boak. Moreover, do not look good. Admittedly they do bring up bad memories of a really ugly quilted denim shirt I had in 1994, but they’re also useless. They’re not a great inbetweener. You end up sweating inside & shivering out. Just put your coat on and take it off when you head indoors. The shacket must go.

I know loads of folk are going to disagree with this one, I care not a jot. The pink Xmas trend can get in the sea. I’m not traditional about much, but when it comes to festive decorations I am old school. Pink does not belong on the tree. It’s not Christmassy. I don’t care if Elle decor has declared it this year’s prettiest trend. I want Christmas looks that warm my heart. Think Forrest green & twinkly gold. Candy floss is a Yuletide treat. Please stop it.

Pink flower on Xmas tree, pink artificial Xmas tree, pink Xmas tree bauble

I’m heading back to the resurgence of the fashion of my youth now. Specifically, cycle shorts. I can’t quite work out how a thing I wore to P.E. when I as 11 has become ‘a look’. Moreover I’m baffled that it’s still hanging around mid November. It’s fucking cold there.

Finally, I have a complaint for our friends across the Atlantic. God, knows they’ve given us plenty to bitch about. In the spirit of keeping it light I have picked this hill to die on. Plaid is not the same thing as Tartan. As we head into prime tartan season I need the conflation of the two to cease. My poor Scottish heart can’t take the way my blood pressure soars when I see either wrongly labelled.

Text-  if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap on red tartan background

That felt pretty good. I highly recommend you take a minute to whine about something pointless. First thing tomorrow it’s back to the Revolution!

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Things that make me go…eeewww

Sometimes the world is bustling with things you love. Other, it keeps thrusting annoyance in one’s path. My current sphere is veering towards the latter.

The hype around the new Ivy Park x Adidas was as big any Beyoncé project gathers. The sizing was more than a little disappointing. It’s frustrating to see someone who gains much aplomb for her nods to body diversity fall down when it comes to her own product lines. Fat folk were, yet again, an afterthought. With small fats squeezing into a later release & everyone else ignored; only girls of a certain size run Bey’s world.

Khloe Kardashian tweet promoting flat tommy shakes

Sticking with the celebrity field (if slightly less A list) is the continued promotion of weight loss crap. Khloe Kardashian springs to mind as a repeat offender. Despite having more money than anyone could ever need, she’s still punting flat tummy shakes to her fans. A huge portion of which are young women & girls. Shame also spreads to homegrown reality celebs. With Lauren Goodger & others agreeing to promote a product containing the fatal ingredient, cyanide. She was caught on camera saying you didn’t have to actually use the products to promote them. None of the influencers involved in the BBC reportage recognised or checked how dangerous the ingredient was. Again, much of base they ‘influence’ are young people. It’s gross that people with a platform are happy to push products that are damaging to mind & body. The greed really does make me go eeeww.

In a less contentious space is the return of some fashion horrors from my youth. Foremost of my objections are hairbands. I really cannot stand those big, thick padded head bands. They conjour two unpleasant 80’s associations; sloanes & teacher’s pet. Both of whom proudly wore those clunky accessories. I’m sorry, they are just not cool.

Black diamanté hair band & red pearl hair band

It will come as no surprise to you that I’m not enjoying current wave of internalised misogyny. Almost nothing is more stomach churning that women shitting on other women. I am aware this is far from a new phenomena, but the relish with which its whipping around it vile. As my more progressive sisters advance an intersectional agenda the less enlightened are pushing back. They’re fighting with mean attacks on real issues like period poverty and trans rights. When I see a privileged woman deploying an I had to suffer once so you can too argument, it makes me nauseous. Turn it up to the full on bigotry of transphobia & I’m boaking. Rich white women need to do better. Much, much better.

Next on the fashion nope radar is another relic from my past. The return of chunky 90’s footwear is not pleasing. I hated spice girl trainers & rubber block heels when I was 15. My opinion has not changed. I loved so much of the 90’s, but these heavy hunks are not amongst them.

Ruby Tuesday…

I know I promised to up my #ootd content, but I really haven’t made good. The problem is fatigue has been kicking my arse. One of the things I’ve let slide in my efforts to keep up with life is my appearance.

I don’t say that in a ‘gross’ way. I don’t consider my appearance is the most important thing to be taking care of. I am happy to go make up free and sling on a t shirt dress if it allows me to get life essentials done. All this to say that I have about one in 14 ish day ratio of looking half decent. That doesn’t give me much scope for showing off.

This week I did manage to polish myself up a little for our Tuesday adventure. We had a delicious lunch at Cafe Strange Brew& then took some cakes round to my Dad’s for some rascalling. Top marks to Strange Brew for their vegan offerings & super lovely staff.

Plus size woman reading book to toddlerButter beans in toast and cup of mint tea

I donned this cute little dress & my trusty snag tights. The dress makes me feel like a fat version of Bridget Fonda in Singles. Considering how much I stored that film, this is a very good thing. My new stripey cardi is also a dream. Perfect winter colours & delightfully oversized.

Plus size women in skater dress & striped cardi with walking stick

Dress – Primark

Vest -Primark

Cardi – Asos

Tights – Snag

Sylvia Plath pendant

Pendant – Gift

On a recent trip to pick up some Xmas pressies I ended getting myself a few bits too. One of which was this yummy new lippie. I probably didn’t need another red lipstick, but this shade was irresistible.

ly h Kerr selfie

Lips – Classic Red, Kiko Milano.

Things that make you go moo…

Yesterday was apparently the hottest day of the year. Let me tell you, Glasgow is not set up for 30 degree heat. Selecting clothes that leave me a sweaty mess is getting harder every day. For yesterday’s day with my nephews I kept it pretty simple.

After reading some stories & making lots of mess with my bigger boy. I headed to the park to introduce the baba to my favourite her of highland cattle. I really love these cows and if course the little one did too.

I matched a 90’s inspired hankie hem with a simple black vest. I added a super light kimono for some colour.

ly h Kerr Pollok House

Skirt – Primark

Kimono – ASOS Curve

Vest – Primark

Woman & child playing in formal garden

Alas, I still melted. So much so that I had to knock up my own makeshift ice pack. Thankfully my factor 50 did its job and my skin remains almost see through.

Flushed

A strange play…

Last night I pretended I was a hip young thing & went to The Twistettes album launch. Of course I am in fact a tired old thing so I didn’t stay until the end, but I did have a very good time. Also, today I’m broken.

A strange play album launch flyer

The Twistettes are a riotous two piece. Before last night I did not realise they are sisters, somehow this knowledge increases their cool factor for me. The launch party for their new album A Strange Play was exactly the loud feminist event that I expected. Housed in the cellar club space of Stereo (excellent vegan food FYI). The night kicked off with Quotes of the Dead, a very enjoyable cross between 90’s girl attitude & early 00’s goth rock. Their set was followed by the most excellent Leyla Josephine. Her angry, amusing & awesome poetry really made my night. Give me 3mins of non earnest spoken word on the vagina & I’m sold.

ly & toyboy Twistettes album launch

Next to take the stage was The Honey Farm, possibly Scotland’s only female rap group. I didn’t expect to enjoy them quite as much as I did. Rap isn’t my preferred genre, but I suppose intelligent women with attitude can make anything agreeable. Girobabies turned out a buoyant performance & then it was time for the main act.

The Twistettes A Strange Play Album Launch
*

The Twistettes were absolutely worth tarting my old arse up for. For a two piece they create a tremendous onslaught of sound. Riot Grrrl influence was definitely in evidence with an undercurrent of 90’s indie rock chick. Their lyrics are captivating & I particularly loved the slightly spooky bent of the title track. Original material is intriguing, their encore covers were large & in charge. If powerful talented women are your thing, give this punkish duo a listen.

The Twistettes, Stereo sept 18
*

* Photo Credit – Stephen Black