#Activewear365 - PRETTYLITTLETHING Haul, Try-On, Review & Look-Book

This is the first instalment in my #Activewear365 social media series.
This series is designed to showcase brands that offer activewear/loungewear or casual items for people of varying sizes, 365 days a year and not just in line with the January fitness hype.  Comfort is a daily necessity in my opinion, so when I look for clothing to chill in, work out in and casual bits to wear on a day to day basis I need reliable brands that offer garments that fit well, are durable, flexible, versatile and most importantly on trend.

I have hand-selected brands which I believe to be the front runners in this field.

First up I bring you PrettyLittleThing.

The guys at PLT were very kind to gift me eight items which I have tried on for you guys in my haul video on the tube, why don't you take a little watch?
A few basic stats for you before we get started - I am a 5ft 4" size 18/20 chick with a size 38GG/36H rack. I have quite a short body my legs are quite short too!  All round I'm just short!   Body shape wise I would be considered a full hourglass figure as I have a relatively small boob to waist to hip ratio.

Outfit # 1 - Aubergine Long Sleeved Cropped top & matching leggings.
These items are sold as separates but I love the look as a two-piece combo.
I ordered the top in a size 20 and the leggings in an 18.

Both of these items are available from a size 16 up to a 26.

FIT
I wish that I had sized down in the leggings to a 16, these are an extremely generous fit. I could have even sized down to an 18 in the top as the arms were quite loose on me.
Lengthwise these measure at approx 68.5cm/27" (based on the size 16 *as per the info on the website*)  The size 18 that I tried on had a considerable amount of slack in the leg so I think someone who is a couple of inches taller will be fine lengthwise.
FEEL
The material is 95% Polyester with 5% elastane, they feel really slinky and lightweight, I think they will be fab for work out gear due to the breathable fabric, but they do show all undies lines etc so if that's not your thing then maybe these aren't for you.
RECOMMENDATION
I think this combo would work well for low impact activities like Yoga. Styling for everyday wear you could rock these as separates teamed with contrasting coloured items, maybe throw on a slouch sweater over the top and chunky trainers. 

You can shop this look here >>>> Top//Leggings

Outfit # 2 - Charcoal Grey Crop & matching leggings


These items are also sold as separates.
I ordered the top in a size 20 and the leggings in an 18.

Both items are available from a size 16 up to a 26.
FIT
I much prefer the structure of this set, the fit isn't as generous as the previous set but I put this down to the choice of material. Length wise on the leggings these measure at approx 71cm/28" (based on the size 16 *as per the info on the website*)  The crop has no support in it, so it's a stretch to call it a sports bra in my opinion, it's more of a crop top and for fitness I would need to wear a sports bra underneath for a comfortable amount of support.
 FEEL
These items are made out of 95% cotton, making them quite a thick fabric.  These feel more structured and they would hold up well for workouts.  The material has 5% elastane so there is a minimal amount of stretch in them.  
RECOMMENDATION
This set is perfect for lounging and activity, I could see me wearing this set for jogging or walking. These would be good for casual day to day wear too, versatile enough to rock to either the gym or even out shopping.

You can shop these items here >>> Crop Top//Leggings

Outfit # 3 - Grey Marl Cropped Hoodie & Black Leggings.


These items are not a set, so of course they are sold as separates.
I ordered the top in a size 20 and the leggings in an 18.

Both items are available from a size 16 up to a 26.
FIT
These are by far my faves of the haul. The crop is a perfect fit, I like the slightly oversized style with sweatshirts. The leggings are going to be really functional for fitness. I could have even sized down with the leggings to a 16 as there is a little too much slack in the crotch and on the ankle.

FEEL
The leggings are really breathable, I adore the mesh panels which are not only on trend, but they will also be functional for fitness. They feel like decent sports leggings, I am excited to see how they hold up after a few classes. The hoodie is really comfy, I can see myself wearing this quite often.
RECOMMENDATION
This outfit would be totally functional for a fitness class or dance class. I would throw on some high-top trainers and make sure I am sporting a crop underneath the hoodie in case I get too warm in the class.

You can shop these items here >>> Cropped Hoodie//Leggings

Outfit # 4   - Burgundy Joggers & Sweatshirt

These items are also sold as separates.
I ordered both items in a size 20.

Both items are available from a size 16 up to a 26.

FIT
The sweatshirt is a good fit on the body but the arms are a little short which is a tad odd!  I would roll up the sleeves for comfort. The joggers are very generous for a size 20, I could have sized down to an 18 as they are rather baggy in the crotch, but for chilling around the house I don't mind them being this baggy.

FEEL
The set is super comfy it's really soft material. 
RECOMMENDATION
This set is ideal for weekend vibes, you could wear this lounging at home or out to the cinema or walking the dog.

You can shop this look here >>> Sweater//Joggers

Overall Impression

I am really impressed with the offerings that PLT have for activewear.  Had I managed to size these items properly I would be ecstatic about these outfits. I like the fact the items are bang on trend, some pieces are so simple but will be really functional for fitness.  Others are so versatile that they can be styled up in a fashionable way for day to day wear.  PLT were my fave brand of 2018 and with all the new drops they have planned for 2019 I am looking forward to seeing what this year will bring for them.

Thank you ever so much for collaborating with me on this PLT.

Why don't you head on over to my TikTok for additional look-books.

Stay tuned for the next instalment - coming soon 

xXx

[All items were gifted by PrettyLittleThing]

Marks & Spencer Spring Summer '19 Collection Preview - Vlog//Follow Me Around

I was invited to preview the M&S Spring/Summer 2019 collection at their recent press day.

I had never been to one of Marks & Spencer's press events, so it was really cool to be invited to get a sneak peek at the collection.

I made a little vlog for you guys - so feel free to take a little look-see. Come take a walk round with me and get the scoop too...

Denim & Navy Hues//Swimwear & Casuals

Pinky Yellow Vibes//Swim & Holiday Feels

Listening to Rosie talk about her "Rosie for Autography" new range which lands this Spring.// Green Goddess Lingerie

All the make up from the "Rosie for Autograph" collection. I need to try this stuff!
Nude & Earthy Tones
Overall I was thoroughly impressed with the new collection. I am especially excited to test drive some of the Rosie collection and the colour palettes used for this S/S range is right up my street. The swimwear and lingerie options look gorgeous, so many pretty prints and textures.  This collection has me yearning for some summer sun so badly.

I took a wander around the Menswear and Childrenswear sections too, you can see more of that in the vlog so make sure you give it a watch.

My absolute favourite thing of the whole collection which got a HUGE thumbs up from me was this range of sustainable swimwear. Well done M&S for creating options with an environmentally friendly head on, especially for the little-uns. This shows the children of our future how important it is to care about our planet and how we are all responsible for looking after it.

Outfit from Pretty Little Thing - full info on this outfit can be found on my Instagram.
After my own impromptu mini photo shoot courtesy of George and her amazing photography skills, I got the chance to sit down with her, Rivkie and Hayley to catch up over some delicious Vegan nibbles.  


Thank you so much for inviting me M&S - I had a fab time and I cannot wait until the line drops so I can give some of it a test drive!

xXx

Diary Entry - Tuesday 22nd January

I have not given up...I promise....



I have been squirrelling away BTS pulling together my very first Vlog!!

I got a brand new camera for Christmas and I am going to try to create some more videos for my YouTube channel. I plan to do lots of travelling and fashion posts so I'm keen to see if I can actually do this as it's always been an interest of mine and actually - my first ever YouTube video kick-started my blog, so I am going back to my roots so to speak!

I'm uploading the video to YouTube right now so hopefully the next post on here will be a link to my channel with my very first botched attempt at a follow me around kinda vlog!

#WATCHTHISSPACE

xXx

Diary Entry - Thursday 10th January

Everything of late has just been a pain fest!  PAIN PAIN PAIN 

"Have these steriod injections into your back" They said...
"They will help you with your pain" They said...
"Oh no they won't hurt" They said...

REAL TALK...THEY LIED!

32 Injections I had in my back on Monday...not one....not even 10....MATE thirty frickin' two!!!

The process didn't take long, say 20 mins/half hour but it was not painless, it was sore and painful and even now I'm on day 4 and the injection sites are still sore to touch and the residual dull ache is still very much there.  I have been advised that the pain may worsen for the first 7-10 days and then after that the steroid should kick in and it should *fingers crossed* help me break the cycle of pain.
I am trying really hard to focus on the fact that this is a minor setback - short term pain for a longer term gain, but it's tough. Real tough.  

The week has been a mishmash of sorts;

Monday was a write off due to the back injection surgery. Spent the majority of the day horizontal.
Tuesday was my Mama's 65th birthday so we went to spend a few hours with her and we passed through Tasha's on the way home for a cuppa.  Was lovely to catch up briefly with her and Daisy.

Wednesday I had my OH assessment up in London - then I had to rush home for a nurse appointment in the afternoon.  I did manage to take a slow walk over London Bridge though, it was a beautifully sunny day, so I got off the bus a stop earlier and walked the bridge.
 I also went to BOOSTFit in Horley - I LOOOOOVE that class, the atmosphere was electric!

Today was my first day back at work. It was my "trial a day working in the office" day!  I'm doing reduced hours (10am to 4pm) so it is more manageable and avoid the rush hour commutes as well as fit in my daily nurse appointments to change my dressings.

It was good to be back in the office.  Nice to return to some routine.  I stood up most of the day - way more comfortable that sitting down but I am proud of myself for pushing through the discomfort to see what I was capable of. Small wins!  Just got back from supporting Jen at her Sevenoaks class, I even taught some tracks, albeit on the low but it felt good to be moving!

I don't want to jinx anything...but I think I actually might be getting somewhere.  I am starting to see slivers of the old Kat, the woman who I miss greatly.  This version of me is one that I am not all that familiar with, I have never really been one to struggle in social situations, I don't usually get anxious about socialising or nervous about being in the company of others, but since my mood has dropped I constantly feel like I am being judged on my wellness and capability and it makes me feel really uneasy. Kinda like I have to prove something to someone....but the truth is....I have NOWT to prove to anyone. I am enough just the way I am.  I am healing and growing and I am doing it at my own pace.  I am in no rush to jump back into my hectic life, don't get me wrong I MISS IT tonnes but I refuse to allow my body to burn out again. I need to protect that Kat, so that she can be a stronger version of herself, one who understands the importance of rest and allowing herself the time and space to heal and grow.

I need to look after not only my body but also I need to focus on listening to it - when I notice signs of lagging or start to feel too pressured, I need to take a step back, refocus, regroup. Evaluate the situation, prioritise it's importance and adjust accordingly.

That is one of  the most important part of #SELFCARE in my opinion.  Your body knows what it needs and it often craving these things but our own self saboteurs ruin things for us .  I am making a conscious effort to NOT LET THEM DEMONS WIN!  That's my promise to myself.  

Tomorrow is a rest day, then Small Child & I are off to Dublin for the weekend!

Exciting times 
xXx

Diary Entry - Sunday 6th January

Saturday 5th Jan

I didn't realise that this little calendar thing groups weekends together into one quote for the two days, instead of a quote for each!  Pretty cool really and it's not a quote, it's more of an activity for the weekend.  So this weekend's activity was...
I really fancied a scone so in true #KAndy style we left it to the very last minute and then it was a mad rush to find somewhere to go at 3:55pm on a Saturday afternoon for afternoon tea. I racked my brains to think of somewhere we could go that we hadn't been to already.  The Boy suggested The Grumpy Mole (Royal Oak Pub) in Oxted which we hadn't been to.

Luckily they served "Afternoon Tea" until 5pm - just in time!

It was rather tasty. Nowt fancy just some tasty scones with fresh clotted cream and strawberry jam and pot of tea to share.  
I spent the rest of the day choreographing more tracks for BOOSTFit and had a lovely early night.

Sunday 6th Jan

Today has been productive, started the day off right with a McD's Breakfast (after my nurse appointment) and then lazed in bed till midday in a sausage & egg McMuffin coma.  I eventually rolled outta bed to start taking pics to list some more stuff on Vinted.  
I have tonnes more to do, but I made a serious dent in the mountain of clothing that is patiently waiting to be given to new homes.

Vick & Ri came over and we had a cheeky catch up over a cuppa and The Small Children decided to recreate an old pic of themselves (Ri's idea BTW)

Jeez they look OLD now!!

#SeflfCareSunday time - I'm gonna head off now - grab a hot bath, wash the barnet and prepare for my hospital appointment tomorrow.  I am rather nervous about it to be honest, I'm having a steroid injection into my sacro-illiac joint in my back to try and help with the pain of my lower disc bulge and hip issue.  
Hope it works - Wish me luck!

xXx

Diary Entry - Friday 4th January

Dunno if you noticed but I have added a little positive quote or two into my posts of late. This is cos my friends bought me a little calendar for 2019 which gives me a positive quote for each day of the year.

The last two quotes have really resonated with me;
Jan 3rd was "Make Today Count" and today's (Jan 4th) was "Let Go - Move Forward"
Thurs 3rd Jan was a tough day painwise.  It's that time of the month and when I am on my pain seems to be exacerbated, especially for my back & hips.  Cramps make my life miserable and the current situation with needing to keep my wound clean and dry is virtually impossible during this time.  Despite being really uncomfortable with the level of pain I was experiencing, I was determined to try and "make today count" so I made sure that I did half a days work (as agreed with my Supervisor) which was my goal for the day.  Unfortunately my pain increased throughout the duration of the day. I had planned to go to BOOSTfit in Lingfield in the evening, but due to my pain I couldn't manage it.  

Great start to January Kat! I felt like a proper failure.  

It was only really by fluke that I flipped the page to the next day's quote..."Let Go - Move Forward" and instead of wallowing in the looming pit of negativity, I chose to try and alter my mindset.  Yes I am in pain but despite that I have achieved one of my main goals today.  I spent time with one of my best friends today.  All these things are progress. Focus on that instead. Let go of those negative feelings, they attach no value to your life right now...move forward. 

Today was far more productive, I assume that this is because I had my first session of CBT since before Christmas.  It was good to talk, I had a lot of experiences to talk through with Vanessa and it felt really cathartic to get it all off my chest, compartmentalise it all and to try and rationalise my negative thoughts.

I left CBT with a really positive mindset - ready to attack some tasks on my to-do list when I got home.  

After wasting an hour or two in front of the TV watching Drag Race, I got up and finished choreographing a new track for BOOSTfit. I picked my music for my return to my radio segment and I headed off to BOOSTfit for the Friday "Party class" at Limspfield.

I took most of the class on the low but it felt good to move. The atmosphere with, Jennie, Lisa, Sarah and I teaching was really electric, everyone seemed in good spirits and it was a really fun class.

I showed the choreo to Jen & Sarah and they seemed to really like the track, so I will try and record it soon so maybe Lou will use it for #BOOSTme.  Fingers crossed she likes it!

I headed straight from class up to Caterham for my radio show. I was really nervous about returning mainly due to my fear surrounding the pain of being sat down for 2 hours. I didn't manage to sit comfortably at all, so I stood for the 2 hours, but that was totally doable for the show. 

All in all I am really happy with my progress today.  I feel good and strong.

Can't wait for class tomorrow - should be fun :)

xXx