Woman of the week…

This week’s celebrated woman is someone I have the pleasure of knowing. She is a bopo goddess, a thrifting maven, accomplished public speaker & possibly the bubbliest person I’ve ever met. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Hayley Angell.

I met Hayley at a blogger event in Glasgow & was instantly impressed by her vintage look. I was also a little intimated by her polished confidence. I don’t find these events very easy. I have a lot of anxiety around new people & situations. I have even more anxiety about hiding my discomfort. The moment I spoke to Hayley I felt more at ease. Her sincere warmth allowed me to collect myself & have a good time.

Taking Shape blogger event, Glasgow

I obviously immediately commenced following her on social media and have done so since. Hayley’s accounts are bursting with life affirming energy. Her honesty about her body positive journey; discarding control garments, trying new activities & generally enjoying her body is inspiring. She recently discussed her experiences as a plus size women taking burlesque classes. Despite outward proclamations of inclusivity she still felt it was assumed that fat women would be less assured. She got the sense that fatter folk were quietly ushered into the background. It takes guts to be open about this stuff. Even more to be honest about how often we convince ourselves that we belong at the back of class. Thus, she used her Instagram account to launch #stepforward a reminder to all plus size people that we are worthy of taking up space & being seen.

The Body Positive community has given me so much. I always want to say thank you to those who inspire me. I also want to spread their work because I know it can bring others happiness. Hayley is one of those fabulous women who can help you change how you see yourself. She is an insta must follow.

Hayley Angell

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Bopo aside Hayley is, as I mentioned, a thrifting magician. Her Instagram is worth following for her second hand style alone. If you need tips on trawling the charity shops for fashion gold, Hayley is your woman. If you simply enjoy seeing a person enjoy themselves & clothes, she is still your gal.

I’ve only met Hayley in person once, but I would not be without her online presence in my life. For a shot of genuine self love, go press those follow buttons.

* Photo credit : Hayley Angell

My new year week in pictures…

2017 was a tricky year. I came really close to my version of happily ever after, but it wasn’t to be. I did however face the worst possible thing & I wasn’t destroyed by it. I welcomed a wonderful new person to my pack & said goodbye to people who deserved longer. I’ve been sick & sore and still produced work I’m really proud of. Best of all I still have a loyal & fabulous troupe who are willing to dance in my storm. That one of them is a rather lovely man with a delicious arse only makes my life better. 

I have high for 2018. There will be new nieces/nephews to adore, exciting work prospects & who knows what else. I am ready for a brand new year & it is off to a great start. What’s better than celebrating that by sharing with you all. So, here it is 2018’s inaugural week in pictures. 

The Toyboy & I made the last minute decision to spend Hogmanay at the last ever Club Noir. Thus, we rung in the new year with loads of burlesque shenanigans. It was excellent. I am so sad the Club Noir is  no more, but very pleased I got to witness its last hurrah. TB & I also decided we should definitely see more burlesque shows. If you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments.
Smiling couple at Hogmanay celebrations Club Noir Hogmanay celebrations

New Year themed nail art manicure

After a remarkably hangover free New Year’s Day spent on the sofa eating junk in my pants, I was totally ready for a little shopping. I met my Mum & Sis for the best kind of retail therapy, baby shopping! I wish I could say we were one of those perfect families who are always on the same page, but we are so not. Me, my sister & our Mum all have our very own views on what’s gorgeous in infant wear. Luckily we can all see the funny side of our disagreements & a consensus was reached. Next up on the little people front was my beautiful little Madison. I highly recommend having a best friend with a baby. I can think if no better way to spend an afternoon than talking about every last thing with my bff whilst cooing over her mini me. 4 months is a great age & Madison is a great baby. Talking of great babies, there’s my nephew. Although, to be honest Kevin is fast outgrowing the baby moniker. My little superbaby is walking, talking & totally time obsessed with birds. I spent Thursday evening playing & getting ready for bed with him and my absolute favourite part is when he brings me a book & climbs up in my lap to listen to the story; even if he does get impatient for the pages with the birdies on them.

Vegan snacks, no make up selfie

Cute bear snow suit

This is the best thing I have ever bought. 

I finished up the first week of the year with a wee sneaky hotel stay. The TB & I were visiting friends for a b’day in a slightly out of the way place, so we decided to make a getaway out of it. We had a problem with our shower & ended up with an upgrade. Our new room had the most romantic skylight directly above the bed. Falling asleep below the stars is definitely a treat. I sn big believer in a nice hotel to chase away the January blues. You don’t have to go far, one look at the fancy bathroom & breakfast in bed menu will whisk you away from your daily drudge. Being a luxury bitch does everyone a little good. 

Romantic winter mini break, Scotland
And as always here are variety of other things that pleased me. 

Glasgow underground, winter sun, thigh tattoo in the bath

I hope 2018 has found you well & continues to treat you right. 

And they’ll come true, impossible not to do…

I was inspired by my darling sister’s 35 before 35 post to get some goals down in black & white. However, as I’m only 3 months from the mid 30’s point I had to raise the age bar. So, here it is, the 40 things I really must get done before I enter middle age.

1 Finish my tattoo collection. I have three more designs that need to get out of my head & onto my body. 

2 Develop my stigma fighting business plan.

3 Have babies.

4 Take a ride in a hot air balloon. 

  
5 Learn to drive. Yes, I am a 34yr old woman who is terrified of driving.

6 Buy all the Irregular Choice shoes.

  
7 Rescue animals from factory farming.

8 Perform in a burlesque show. Chorus line would cool.

9 Visit Jenna in Philadelphia.

10 Master Japenese cooking. I need to know I can have yasai gyoza whenever I feel the urge.

11 Visit Tagalooma with Athena.

12 Adopt a retired greyhound.

13 Lots & lots of surface piercings.

14 Execute the cutest pregnancy announcement ever.

15 Cook Xmas dinner for my entire family.

16 Take a break in one of those beach huts on stilts in the ocean. 

  
17 Write for Skorch.

18 Mix my own perfume. 

19 Teach Billy to swim properly.

20 Get a book deal.

21 Check out those big heads on Easter Island.

22 Send the perfect family xmas cards. 

23 Make Danilo go on the big romantic xmas wheel. 

  
25 Perfect one ballroom dance & trot it out at every single occasion.

26 Take a romantic break in a Scottish castle.

27 Learn Sign language.

28 Fall utterly in love with more nieces & nephews. Get to it, siblings!

29 Get a professional portrait painted of my beautiful Bronan. 

  
30 Rock the Big Apple with my girls.

31 Find miraculous cure for all my health issues. 

32 Take my little ones to Disney World.

33 See Morrissey live.

34 Finish Athena’s books before she gets too old for them.

35 Try synchronised swimming. 

36 Finally see Much Ado About Nothing performed at Bard in the Botanics. 

37 Send random mystery flowers to folk who would appreciate them. 

  
38 Learn to code (at least well enough to snazz my blog).

39 Take my Mum to Austria to do the Sound of Music tour. 

40 Be the best Mummy ever!

Any advice or suggestions on who to achieve my goals is most welcome. Wish my luck.