It’s a me, myself kinda attitude…

Self care is a phrase that makes me boak. It has so many bullshit connotations that I just can’t be doing with. I’m not interested in the healing powers of green tea, crystals or turmeric. A cup of tea and a chat won’t fix my crazy head. Neither will congratulating myself for brushing my teeth. If any of that works for, knock yourself out, I’m genuinely happy for you. It all just leaves me with a bad taste (literally in some cases) in my mouth. However, I do believe that you have look after yourself. It’s important to pay attention to the little things that make a difference to your day/life. And every now and again you have to go BIG.

Hotel do not disturb sign

That’s exactly what I did last week. I’ve been walking the tightrope of mental & physical health flares. I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m sad and with the arrival of my 39th birthday I’m old too. I was in need of a treat. So, I gave myself a 5 star escape.

I booked a couple of nights at a boutique hotel in my city. Checked into my beautiful room and checked out of reality for a few days. I told no one. I drank champagne cocktails in the epic roll top bath. Ordered room service and watched old movies in the gigantic bed.

Hotel room with roll top bath Grand staircase and stained glass window, dining room with chandelier and champagne cocktail

It did me good to dip out of my real life. It hasn’t solved any of my problems, but man alive was it good to have some respite. It also felt really amazing to be able to do a lovely thing for myself. It’s great to be treated by others, but there is a deep satisfaction in giving yourself something you need.

ly looking in mirror in white hotel robe, ly soaking in roll top bath

My advice would be less ‘self care’ and more taking care of yourself.

My week in pictures…

I’ve been a bit stuck in the doldrums. Sometimes when my mood takes a dive I can get overwhelmed and struggle to get anything done. To tackle that I decided to make a concentrated effort to take time for myself; focusing on things that release pressure and make me feel good. It has been successful strategy. A treated & rested me has managed to get more on top of things.

I started last week with a wee spa escape. I grabbed my Mum & Sister and embarked upon a relaxing break in a Dundee. Of course we let the Baba crash our girls trip.

We had a lovely time luxuriating in the spa and kicking back in our suite. We checked out the stunning V&A. Indulged in some delicious food and had a tonne of carry on. I’m so glad my family are such loveable maniacs. We always have so much fun together. It was bliss for me to spend so much time with the boy. I love getting to do bedtime, reading him endless stories and hearing him call out my name when he wakes up. Little ones are the best medicine.

Plus size woman posing at v&a

Dress – Monki

Shirt – Boohoo

Tights – Snag Tights

Various v&a Dundee Family snap shotsVarious Dundee

I arrived home midweek and got stuck right into my outstanding ‘to do’ lists. After a few days trundling through housework and editing I was ready for something lighter. Diversion came in the form of the wonderful Strathaven Balloon Festival. I’ve always loved hot air balloons. Unfortunately the rides book out weeks in advance, so I didn’t get a chance to take to the skies. Good times were still had. Someone turned the sun back on for us this weekend and we got a scorcher.

We had a go around the boating pond before a little bouncing.

Baby on bouncy castle

Watched people fall from the sky and got up close with some owls.

Sky diver with open parachute

Did a bit of colouring and then the boy got to try out a mini balloon ride.

Children’s hot air balloon ride

Finally it was time for the star of the show. They were worth the wait. Red hot air balloon in the sky Hot air balloon in riding above trees

I tried to beat the heat with barely there t shirt & the cutest crop top. I still felt like I was a million degrees, but at least I looked pretty cool.

Plus size woman in tent wearing maxi skirt & rainbow crop top

T- Shirt – Pretty Little Thing

Crop top – Wilde Mode *

Skirt – New Look

Sandals – Next

* Brand Ambassador

You’re my favourite…

I’m still a little bit in holiday mode. I’m struggling a bit with some hardcore fatigue and have given myself until Monday to get back into gear. I didn’t want to leave a gap here, so I settled on the epitome of new year posts; the round-up. My 2018 favourites, if you want to get specific.

I started the year reading what turned out to be one of my favourite books of the year. ‘The Love of a Bad Man’ by Laura Elizabeth Woollett is a collection of short stories that tells the fictionalised (based on real events) account of the women who paired up with some of history’s most notorious bad men. When I say bad, I mean completely evil. It’s dark, but so original. We rarely get an insight into the lives of women caught in the drag of historical men. These imagined tellings of their relationships and (often destroyed) lives is compelling.

The love of a bad man

My favourite beauty buy (who am I?) this year was bought early on too. It was a super cheap ebay experiment that had amazing results. I have long yearned for a dramatic winged eyeliner look. Alas I have never possessed the requisite skills. Enter my new friend, the eyeliner stamp. It took only a few attempts to perfect the perfect flick. I can now cheat my way to amazing eye flare.

Eye liner stamper ly h Kerr eyeliner flicks

By spring we were already engulfed in a heat wave. The Toyboy & I took advantage of sun & slipped off on a mini break. Kilberry Bay, Tarbert is just stunning. We enjoyed a few peaceful days surrounded by the most beautiful nothing. With a deserted beach so pretty that it’s used as a wedding venue and a gorgeous view of Islay, Kilberry was the ideal spot for a rejuvenating getaway.  I find the sound of the tide swooshing on the sand desperately romantic, thus this became my favourite trip of 2018.

Kilberry Bay

Summer brought more sun and No Shame. Lily Allen’s eagerly awaited fourth album. I’ve always loved Lily’s witty lyrics and wry honesty. No Shame ups the auntie on all of that, a lyrical description of the collapse of a marriage, juggling motherhood, work & living. All is laid bare with, you guessed, it no shame. Just lashings of reality. Each track pulsing with the guilt, hope & grit of life.

No Shame

I took until August to hit the outfit jackpot. The Edinburgh Festival was a masterclass in packing light as I knew I’d have to carry my back pack on the final day. Thus I had to think clever when it came to styling. I ticked all the boxes with this sheer/retro combo. I even managed to make my walking stick look almost cool in this picture. Which is quite a feat, believe me, navigating Edinburgh with a stick is not smooth going.

ly h Kerr Ed fringe

Last, but most definitely not lost least is my favourite day of the year. February 6th was without a doubt the most magical day of 2018. That’s the day my amazing little sister brought her adorable little man into the world. He has been a complete joy every day since. New babas to love will always be the best thing life can offer, so ’18 was a stellar year.

ly h Kerr baba nephew

Sweet escape…

I’m a sucker for a mini break. Give me a nice hotel with a good pool and I’m a happy girl. Throw in a massage & I’d be delighted even if the hotel was located in hell. So, the Toyboy’s birthday treat of a few days away was a winner.

He choose Dundee because he knew I really wanted to see the new V&A, but it proved to be a cool wee city. We had some tasty food, took in some sights & indulged in soothing spa treatments.

Frigate unicorn, love locks, the white goose, #projectpostit, Dundee

We stayed at the Apex City Quay which was a delight. We had a gorgeous big room with a view of city quay & it’s cool water sports. The complimentary bubbly was a lovely welcome & the really late check out was a great goodbye. The Apex took care of our every whim inbetween.

ly h Kerr, The apex city quay, Dundee Breakfast in bed, apex Dundee

The Japanese style Yu Spa is apparently award winning; I haven’t checked that, but it was excellent & I believe them. It comprises a lovely little pool, deliciously hot hot tub & the usual array of incredibly hot rooms (steam/sauna et al). I’m a big kid so I was particularly pleased the submerged colour changing lights. There are also more adult plus points in form excellent showers, Elemis toiletries & quality hair dryers in the changing rooms. The actual treatment area is a tranquil heavenly smelling space. My hot stone massage was divine. The Toyboy’s ‘devil’s delight back treatment’ was everything he had hoped for.

Yu spa, Dundee

Like I said, Dundee was charming. It has some impressive architecture, quirky pubs & really awesome food. The McManus Art Gallery looks like a cathedral from a Disney film. It had the most stunning stone staircase I have ever seen. I bet those steps have seen their share of blushing brides. The D C Thomson building also looked spiffing all lit up. My favourite Dundee aspect ended up being cowering under the Tay road bridge watching the wind make the river run wild.

Food wise, Dundee did really well with my fussy vegan needs. Special mention goes to Tahini. I was initially dubious, but we were running out of time & I bowed to pressure. I am so happy that I did. Tahini offer a three course Lebanese Tapas experience. You just tell them any allergies/restrictions and they bring you amazing food. I was a little scared of not picking exactly what I wanted. Partly because of my very persnickety eating, but also because I am terrible at relinquishing control of even unimportant matters. Anyway, I learned a lesson. I must relax a little because the food was so fucking good and it did not stop coming. Go hungry, these people really feed you!

Dundee fun

Tickety boo, Dundee

Tahini, Lebanese Tapas

She comes in colours…

As the weather gets colder & the nights get darker I feel the need for even more colour. I subscribe to the why wear one colour when you can wear five anyway, but definitely garner warmth from rich tones at this time of year.

I applied this thinking when selecting an outfit for our last day in Dundee. Our plans were lunch with a friend & a wee wander at the harbour. Thus, I wanted cosy, comfortable & chic.

Skirt – Monsoon

Vest – Primark

Jumper – ASOS Curve

Bag – Topshop (gift)

Flats – Primark

I caught up with my lovely friend Dawn over lunch. She’s just returned to scotland after many years living in a London, so we had a bunch to gab about. Afterwards with full bellies & tired tongues the Toyboy & I headed off for a little wander by the water. We checked out some cool big boats (I’m such a maritime expert) & enjoyed the bright day.

#projectpostit, white goose DundeeUnicorn frigate, city harbour Dundee

Sail away…

As you may or may not be aware it was my birthday at the end of September & the Toyboy treated me to a wee spa break to celebrate. Dundee was our destination so that we could take in the newly opened V&A. Which, I am of course going to tell you all about.

The Dundee V&A is a spectacular building housing a design museum. It’s located right on the river Tay and takes full advantage of it’s location. Our hotel was about 3mins away, so despite it blowing a gale, we wandered along the river. I was actually pretty pleased about the wild weather because it gave me an opportunity to wear my wonderful new coat. I also rather like the feeling of abandon I get when I stare across rough waters.

River Tay, V&A, ly h Kerr

Coat – Glamorous

For me the star of the V&A show is the building itself. It’s spectacular. New interest from every angle. Outside paths curve under & lead you through the middle of building. The solid concrete ‘cladding’ outside is complimented by a similar, but much softer wooden effect inside. Numerous cleverly placed windows create perfectly framed views across the river. They almost feel like art themselves. The whole place feels very fresh. There are so many little nooks hidden in plain sight to discover. All whilst still maintaining a feeling light open space. In short, I loved it.

Toyboy exploring Dundee v&aDundee V&A

Upstairs houses a fairly exhaustive exhibit of the history of Scottish design. It dips a toe onto everything from computer games, to tartan by passing the Scott Monument & industrial design along the way. They also cover fashion, jewellery, interiors & just about everything you can imagine. I even discovered the speedos were Scottish!

Scott Monument model, tiara, Edinburgh festival posters, Scottish design museum

There are some cute interactive bits for kids & a sort of treasure hunt including stamping a book when you find exhibits. The museum is fully accessible & has loads of benches dotted around if you need to rest. It also has lockers so you don’t need to cart all your bags & coats around with you. The main gallery is free, but they do have visiting exhibits which are ticketed. Currently on show is, Ocean Liners, Speed & Style, which we obviously had a gander at.

I am so glad we did. The exhibit covers pretty much everything you need to know about the glory days of ocean liners. It begins with plenty of information about engines & ship building for who are curious about such matters. Moves onto a stunning display of interiors from first class of various liners. The level of luxury is impressive. Items from late 19th century right through to the post war era are included and there was no scrimping for those with a 1st class ticket. I absolutely adored it. The attention to detail & grandeur was incredible. By the time I reached the gallery housing fashions of the passengers I was completely ready to buy a ticket to the past & set sail.

Oven liner exhibit at Dundee v&aOcean liner exhibits Dundee v&aDundee v&aDundee v&a

Dundee v&a

For my design excursion I did classic ly style; clashing prints & a bunch of colours. This leopard print dress was an Asos sale steal. I particularly love the fluted the sleeves. Star of my show, though is my fabulous new coat (see above). Bold red tartan is not something I can resist. It is also kept me very snug in the freezing wind. I’d say size up, if you want the less fitted look I’ve gone for (& if you want to comfortably house your winter layers in it).

Dress – ASOS Curve

Shoes – Primark

Bag – Topshop

Oh & of course #projectpostit left a little something for future visitors to ponder & I took a wee piece of luxury home.

#projectpostit

Luxury pin

Drift like a cloud through the festival crowd…

On Monday the Toyboy & I headed off for our annual (it’s the 2nd year, that counts, right?) trip to the Edinburgh Fringe. Three days of exhausting, but fabulous adventures ensued.

Our first show of the 2018 fringe was Phil Jupitus is Porky the Poet in Living in A World Where They Through the Ducks at the Bread . That title is quite a mouth full as was some of this show, but in a good way. I’ll be honest, I only really knew Jupitus from Never Mind the Buzzcocks & it turns out I like his poetry much more than I liked that programme. His poetic style is silly & witty & heartwarming. His in between chat is also all of the above. I’m a spoken word/poetry fan, but I think even poetry virgins would enjoy Porky’s words. Oh & bonus I got a free badge that sums me up fairly accurately.

Troubled poet badge

Voodoo Rooms is a perfect example of example of Edinburgh Festival venues. It’s down a lane, riddled with stairs & you’re packed in tight enough to lose circulation in your extremities. We made the mistake of trusting directions of a stranger (male, why can they never admit they don’t know?). We walked around in a massive circle before discovering the venue was about 2 minutes from where we started & on arrival I realised I had actually known where it was all along; I just didn’t know the street name. Anyway, what I’m trying to tell you is this is a quintessential festival experience. Finding most venues will become a magical mystery tour of possibly the least disabled friendly city in the world. Everything is up a hill & 3 dozen stairs. Spoonies beware or budget for a lot of taxis!

We acted the tourist for a little bit; had a lunch from a food truck & bought Edinburgh rock. Then I tortured the TB with outfit pictures before an outfit change & catching up with some Edinburgh based friends. After a few cocktails & much hilarity we headed off to our last show of the day.

ly h Kerr Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 random sights

The Waverley is just off bottom end of the Royal Mile. It looks like it hasn’t been decorated since 60’s & feels like it might house a tiny part of real festival spirit. In the upstairs room there was a sparse audience & a life size cut out of Billy Conolly declaring ‘This is where I started’. I’m not sure if that’s inspiring or just a kick in teeth to those playing a quiet room, but the woman we came to see gave it a spirited try. Becky Fury (that’s her real name) hinted that she perhaps wasn’t having her best night, but she did have some interesting takes on current state of politics. I suspect the show that emerges from her Edinburgh run will be more polished than Lip Salve for the Soul. In the meantime her Star Wars movie via Corbyn memes was funny. Her visual display of how dehumanisation happens, somehow Hillary Clinton faired worse in polls than terrorists, was insightful. Plus her off the cuff material on my breasts was actually pretty fucking amusing. Anyone who can make ‘that’s how genocide happens’ a punchline & get me to laugh when the size of my tits is publicly discussed has got to have talent. I’d say book early for her 2019 show, it’ll be a cracker.

Billy Connolly edfringe cardboard cut out

With only two shows under our belts we grabbed some very expensive fast food & headed back to our apartment. We needed a bit of rest because Tuesday was jam packed. Stay tuned for everything from medieval disco theatre to serial killer book podcasts all viewed with eyes adorned in razor sharp liner.

ly h Kerr & Toyboy