...and the Nominees are....

Since the nomination window closed on 30th June, we have all been sat in eager anticipation of the announcement of the nominees for this years' British Plus Size Awards.

Today the shortlist of nominees were released...

You may recognise a fair few faces in this immense list of names, some of them may be new to you. I'm impressed with the global diversity across this list, so many different brands, international additions which have taken this year to expand into the UK such as Curvy Swan, Ms Pomelo Bras, Coral & Co, Monif. C and Sydney's Closet. I welcome the additions of UK based brands such as Silly Old Sea Dog, A Rose Like This and Vixen Curves, who haven't previously been nominated for a BPSA alongside some of our most treasured brands such as Anna Scholz, Nicky Rockets, Scarlett & Jo and all the mainstream retailers like Simply Be, ASOS Curve, New Look, Yours Clothing, Evans, Boohoo & Very.  

There are more than a handful of WOC flying the flag this year which is fantastically positive for ethnic diversity.  We have Kemi, Jerri, Olivia Campbell all up for Best Model whilst, Jodie Folley, Emily Blake & The Rubenesque Effect ladies are all up for Best Achievment. In addition to these fab ladies, well known celebs Gabourey Sidbe, Alison Hammond are also nominated. Also at least two brands that I personally know are fronted and founded by women of colour; Curvy Swan & Gorgeous Bride Magazine.  Also Rianne Ward heads up UK Plus Size Fashion Week and Ms Curvaceous is owned by Theo. 

I would love to see this continue in future years and perhaps a further inclusion of people within the plus size industry who are less able bodied too, but it should be noted that WE the public set the nominations. The power is in our own hands.  Let's keep nominating those who we feel deserve recognition.

I'm immensely proud to have been nominated myself for not one but two categories this year; Best Plus Size Social Media and Best Plus Size Blogger.  Now I simply do not stand a chance of winning up against the ladies in my categories, they are all masters in their fields and whilst I feel like I am worthy of my nomination I cannot compare to these beautiful women.  That being said, to be nominated alongside them is an honour and I couldn't have picked a nicer group of ladies to share this pitch with.

I'm also ecstatic that Ms Curvaceous UK has been recognised for Best Event. I have a lot of love for my MCUK family and this to me feels like a huge achievement. Well done team!

Also My TRE sisters and I have been nominated for Best Achievement, we are gobsmacked to say the least. I joked with the ladies and said I'm surprised people can even spell our name to be honest let alone nominate us!  We are total newbies to this and we are simply overwhelmed that people support what we are doing enough to nominate us alongside such fantastic achievements like Callie's Marie Claire win and my Sister Queens Jodie & Emily being crowned as representatives for Great Britain and the amazing record breaking photo shoot with over 100 plus size ladies for Scarlett & Jo that we were a part of too.

I am thoroughly looking forward to November's awards ceremony, can't wait to see who wins and to get the chance to once again be present at one of the Plus Size communities social highlights of the year to shake & wiggle with some of my favourite people.

Obviously being nominated is pretty immense, but I would be super grateful if you could spare a couple of minutes just to vote for me... Just click on the image below and it will take you to the voting page.

My nominations are;
VOTE Katherine Henry for Best Plus Size Blogger
VOTE Kat Henry for Best Plus Size Social Media
VOTE The Rubenesque Effect for Best Achievement
VOTE Ms Curvaceous UK for Best Event

Congratulations to all of the nominees and best of luck to you all. We're winners in my eyes just for being nominated!  I would also like to thank every single one of you awesome people who took the time to nominate me - if you could just make sure you vote too, it would be greatly appreciated.

See you all on the night - do not miss out!


Aching Arms: Our Charity Fundraising with LouiseFitness

Aching Arms is a charity dedicated to supporting parents who have experienced the heartache of leaving the hospital without their babies. 

They work to raise awareness of the impact that pregnancy and baby loss can cause to families and hope to bring some comfort to newly bereaved parents by offering them an Aching Arms bear before they leave the hospital.

The charity is run by group of bereaved mothers, who work tirelessly to offer a line of friendship and support to parents who are coping with the emptiness and pain of losing their much-wanted baby.

The charity provides bears to hospitals for midwives to give to the parents as well as reaching out to those who contact them directly.  You can contact Aching Arms to donate a bear to a family in memory of a baby lost too soon.

Louise chose this well-deserved charity to be the beneficiaries of our recent fundraising.

With the very generous contributions of all our lovely ladies at LouiseFitness, together we managed to raise £450 for Aching Arms which is a truly phenomenal amount. Especially knowing the impact it will have on the families that will find comfort in receiving a bear as a result.

On behalf of Louise & the rest of the team, we'd like to thank you to all of you for donating.

Anuskha: An Elomi Lingerie Review

I was an Elomi virgin until Anushka arrived on my doorstep. 
Isn't she sassy?  I adore the new colour scheme for this Spring/Summer.  When I opened the package I initially thought this was a bikini as the colours were so bold and vibrant and the material felt more sturdy than your average bra.  She'd make a fantastic swimwear option, not gonna lie!

The "Kingfisher" colours are a combination of lime green under layering with a turquoise blue lacy over lay.  

The set consists of a plunge bra and briefs. I wore the 38G in the bra and size 20 on the briefs.

You can check out the Elomi website to see your closest stockists whether it be a store or online.

Sizing & Fitting;   The central gore does sit flush against my breast bone, however I think I should have ordered a 38GG rather than a 38G as there is a slight overspill, this is my own fault - I am usually a GG so I'm not quite sure why I opted for the a G cup especially as their range goes up to a 42HH, 44G & a 46DD. The straps are thick and comfortable and the back band is supportive and wide.
The briefs are not high waisted they sit under my navel but they are well sized.  I would say they run true to size as they are a little loose on me and I sit between a size 18 & 20.  The back panel is entirely see through mesh.  They are a full shape and low rise cut on the leg.

Detailing: The lace detailing and lime green accents on the bows are adorable. The quality of the fabric is impressive. The items feel thick and durable, not flimsy, like they are built to last.  I like that!

I love the set so much that I even used one of these photos as one of my submission photos for Curvy Kate's "Star in a Bra" competition.

Overall Summary:  The colours really make this set for me.  It's such an eye-catching set that exudes a fun and flirtatious vibe.
Rating:  9/10
Potential improvements: Perhaps a wider band at the back.
Would I recommend this? Yes of course. The quality alone is enough to make me want to try more from Elomi.

Hair & MUA: Kat Henry
Photographer: QR Photography
This product was sent to me for review purposes. The review above is based on my own opinion of the product and I own all creative content of this post.


Navabi: What to wear to a Wedding

Wedding season is well and truly under way and finding that perfect outfit to make you look and feel gorgeous can be a little daunting.  Let me give you a few tips based on how I chose what to wear as a wedding guest with a little help from my friends at Navabi.

The key points to remember when picking an outfit for a wedding are;
 - Never upstage the Bride. It's her day...not yours, so whilst you should always dress to impress, try not to pick something that is likely to attract attention away from her beautiful gown.
- Bear in mind any colour schemes. I have been asked to sit out of group photos in the past down to the fact that I didn't follow the couples colour scheme. 
- Avoid white.  Some white on an outfit is different to rocking up in a plain white dress.
- Think about comfort too; You will be in this outfit all day, you will be eating and or drinking and hopefully dancing so think about being comfortable as well as looking fabulous!
- Being barefoot at wedding is never a good look.  Bring flats, if you're planning to dance the night away!

Navabi have a plethora of stunning wedding guest outfits starting at around £80 and ranging from a size 14 up to a 28. 

Here are a few of my favourite items available now; 
Left to Right:
Floral Print Satin Dress//Lace Jersey Dress//V Neck Lace Dress

Left to Right:
Floral Layered Chiffon Dress//Embellished Chiffon Dress//Floral Print Dress
My favourite pick of this season's offerings has to be this dress;

Elvi Draped Jersey Dress

I just had to try it on.  I was not disappointed.  The beautiful blush colour really complimented my skin tone and newly dyed red hair (Did you notice??)  I teamed it with silver accessories and a pair of nude block heeled sandals.  I would usually team this with a sparkly clutch and perhaps even add a pretty fascinator
Embellished Clutch//Fascinator

The ruching on the side reveals a slight side split.  The neck is embellished with small square studs to accentuate the slash neck style. 

The dress is simple but with the right accessories it really comes to life. I am wearing a size 20 and I feel that this is true to it's size. I am between an 18 and a 20 and this is a little loose on me.  This dress isn't meant to be skin tight, it's meant to drape, so get the desired look opt for the higher of two sizes if you (like me) are between two.

Overall Summary:  A gorgeous dress, perfect for spring/summer occasions.  Chose your accessories carefully to complete the look.

Rating:  10/10

Potential improvements: I can see no fault with this dress.

Would I recommend this? Yes I would, I adore it!

Hair & MUA: Kat Henry
Photographer: QR Photography
This product was sent to me for review purposes. The review above is based on my own opinion of the product and I own all creative content of this post.


"Witness The Fitness" with Anna Scholz Plus Size Fitness Wear range

The launch of Anna Scholz' plus size fitness wear range was celebrated with a good old wiggle as a few of us were asked to take part in a "Boogieful" class run by Charlotte Clarke.

Chloe of Chloe Pierre LDN, Rivkie; Editor-in-Chief of Slink Magazine & myself joined Anna and two of her team including Michaela of Cardiffornia Girl to create a little video to showcase the new range.

You can check it out below...
* Film credit - Indie Jug Films*

Boogieful is a dance class which is open to all people of different shapes and sizes, combining great music and simple yet effective routines to get your heart rate up.

We had such a blast doing the class with Charlotte, she's a lovely and warm lady who knows how to werk it!  She had us all breaking a sweat!  The routines were easy to follow and she broke them down for us!  The routines were set to a combination of RnB, Dancehall and Afro-beats.  I had a tonne of fun and as a dancer I always love learning new moves & routines.

Anna has designed a fantastic fitness range, I wore the City Lights print vest top with the matching print leggings.  There is also a t-shirt and matching zip-up jacket.  The other print available is a black/grey snakeskin print.  Both items were a size 20 and the garments are generously sized in my opinion.  The top fitted well, it was nice and long and didn't shift around or need adjusting throughout the workout.  The leggings are a little long in the leg for me but that's cos I'm only 5ft 4!  They looked perfect on Anna & Mic who are much taller.  I also tried on the Tee which is generously sized at a size 20 it was loose which is perfect for working out and the jacket was just perfect in every way - I would even rock that on a night out as a Bomber!  The quality of the range is apparent just from feeling the fabric. The prints are eye-catching, the fabric is breathable making it a dream to work out in, there's plenty of material, so for those who are longer in the body or are concious of their bums and tums, these tops are ideal.  There is no doubt that the range is priced highly but you get what you pay for.  To find good quality fitness wear that doesn't slack with wear or lose shape or colour with washing is virtually impossible unless you are prepared to pay a little extra for it.  

I have no quarms in paying for decent gear if it lasts and trust me it's durable.  I have worn & washed these leggings so many times and they look as good as they did on the day I got them.

All in all I had a fantastic day with these ladies and I thoroughly recommend the range - big thumbs up all round from me xx

These products were gifted to me for review purposes. The review above is based on my own opinion of the product and I own all creative content of this post.

Miss British Beauty Curve 2016 Contestants; Meet Kimberley Franklin

Next up in the "Meet the Miss British Beauty Curve 2016 Contestants" series we have Ms Newcastle Curve 2016; Kimberley...
Name: Kimberley Franklin
Age: 30
Which area are you representing? Ms Newcastle Curve 2016

Single or Taken? 
Engaged; to be married to my best friend of 11 years on Christmas Eve this year

What made you want to enter MBBC? 
After seeing a show on TV a wanted to give it a go to see how far I would get, after years of being bullied and told I'm to fat or to short I wanted to test the water and see what others really thought.

Is MBBC your first pageant experience? 
This is my very first and although I am nervous I am extremely proud and excited to tell everyone what I am doing and inspire others.

Describe your character in 5 words..
Honest - loyal - funny - spontaneous - proactive

You can earn extra points from making public appearances, have you made any so far?  Do you have any in the pipeline?
I haven't currently done any yet, I do have a fundraising event to attend and have contacted the local press and radio to make the competition public knowledge up here in Newcastle. <Kimberley recently took part in the Scarlett & Jo Modelling Competition which was a record breaking event of the most plus size ladies in one photo shoot in Europe>

What does winning the crown mean to you? 
For me it's not about the crown but what it represents, every single person in this world has a right to feel beautiful and winning the crown would provide a platform where we can reach so many more people out there and inspire them to step into their own and shine.

Do you have any hidden talents? 
I am pretty flexible and can still do the splits

Who are your sponsors? 
Levoi Champagne Nail Bar Newcastle

If successful you would become one of our Sister Queens, what qualities can you bring to our family? 
I am a very determined focused person with a big heart. I have been homeless in the past and experienced violence and loss of loved ones so I feel I have a lot of compassion and reasoning skills that help and inspire overs. I can see the pageant has grown over the last four years with the help of each and every queen and I feel I could help bring yet a new audience and exposure again. I am proud to be a part of an ever growing community of proud confident women.

What inspires you most about the MBBC Queens? 
The confidence they shine with and the time and dedication they give to their time in the pageant and as a Queen.

How have you found the experience so far? 
Absolutely brilliant, everyone is so kind and friendly wanting you to do well and more importantly just enjoy every moment.

Are you looking forward to the 5th year anniversary event? Have you started shopping? 
Everything is so exciting, I have been and tried on a few bits but not purchased anything yet. Just like a wedding dress when I put the right stuff on I'll just know.  

What message do you have for women who are thinking of entering in the future? 

Do it! Just go for it, start believing you can and you will. As long as you have a heart that loves and cares and you are forgiving and kind, it doesn't matter what shape or height you are your beauty shine from within and that with confidence in what you do makes you unbelievably beautiful.

I wish you the very best of luck Kimberley
You can connect with Kimberley and be kept up to date with her journey;

Miss British Beauty Curve 2016 Contestants; Meet Nicole

Next up in the "Meet the Miss British Beauty Curve 2016 Contestants" series, meet Miss London Curve 2016; Nicole...

Name: Nicole Moses

Age: 26
Which area are you representing? London
Single or Taken? Taken

What made you want to enter MBBC?
Last year I was in a bad place. I had little body confidence and constantly wore baggy and unflattering clothing. I decided to attend a body confidence workshop  and audition  for Ms Curvaceous UK.  I didn’t get through but I took away so much.  The workshop changed my life my confidence,  my style and my motivation to encourage others like me. I then applied for Miss British Beauty Curve and got through to the finals. I felt capable of anything. From the women with no self esteem to a women of substance.

Is MBBC your first pageant experience? 
MBBC is my first pageant ever and hopefully it will not be my last. 
<Nicole has since been accepted to be a finalist of Miss Plus Size UK too>

Describe your character in 5 words...
Funny, Spontaneous,  Caring, Loyal and Curvaceous 

(C) Mekx Photography/Ms Curvaceous UK

You can earn extra points from making public appearances, have you made any so far?  Do you have any in the pipeline?
I have attended casting for the Curvy Convention which I will be attending.  I have attended a Model master class with at Ms Curvaceous. I have plans to make appearances at a Charity Fashion show in Kent , Regents park run, Curve it 2016, Ideal Curve Show and the Fashion Crazy Project 2.

What does winning the crown mean to you?
I want to win the crown to remind myself  that I am beautiful and that I am capable of anything. Winning the crown will give me that confidence and ability to go that extra mile to encourage women to celebrate there curves and to show the world that plus size comes in all shapes and sizes and that we are special.  I also want petite plus size women to recognise that we are beautiful too and that there are petite plus size models out there.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I am good at drawing portraits although it’s been a while. I enjoy writing poetry.  I also love singing and dancing. 

Who are your sponsors?
My sponsors are my friends and family at the moment.  I am hoping to  reach out to other sponsors such as boutiques same and nail and hair salons.

If successful you would become one of our Sister Queens, what qualities can you bring to our family?
I can bring adventure and love to the group. I believe I am a people’s person who enjoys a challenge and doing new things. I hope to bring happiness to others and that missing something.

What inspires you most about the MBBC Queens?
The Queens are beautiful and I am fortunate to have met three. The one thing that stands out from these women is their ambition and drive to be themselves. I love that they are outspoken and beautiful inside and out. The Queens are amazing as their journeys and experiences tend to relate to your own personal situations which then gives you the drive to be who you are. The Queens are all real women with a bundle of confidence. I love that because I am able to look up to them for who they are.

How have you found the experience so far?
I am loving the experience.  I feel privileged to be representing the curves of London. I never thought I would ever be part of a pageant but here I am; ready to take the stage and make my family and London proud. The other great thing it that l have met some amazing models who have been extremely supportive on my journey.

Are you looking forward to the 5th year anniversary event? Have you started shopping?
I am very excited about the anniversary event and I am proud to be a contestant at this time. I have started to prepare for the pageant and it is becoming a challenge.  I want my clothing to represent my character and also to fit my curves. I have some of the outfits and I am searching for my final round outfit. I want it to be special.

What message do you have for women who are thinking of entering in the future?
I believe you can do what you want and wear want you want as long as its best for you. Having this confidence enables you to do things that you probably couldn't do before. It is important to surround yourself with positive people and do things that make you happy. Finally it is being the best version of yourself both inside and out. If you have body confidence or feel you need to boost attend a body confidence workshop and apply for a pageant. If you do or don’t succeed you would be surrounded by a great curvaceous family to help you on your way.

I wish you the very best of luck Nicole

You can connect with Nicole and be kept up to date with her journey;