When this is over….

I want to… (in no particular order)

  • Hug my family for a looooong time
  • Have a proper memorial for my nan
  • Go day drinking in Leeds
  • Have Pizza Hut cheest bites
  • Go for a coffee with the girls
  • Book and re-book as many holidays as my bank balance and annual leave calendar will allow
  • Watch with interest to see if the toxic people around me have developed any shred of kindness
  • Buy things off the internet frivolously (yet responsibly)
  • Have my car fully valeted
  • Take my niece and nephew out for ice cream

J xx


Six years of having a blog

19 May 2020 marked 6 years of me having a blog – making and posting (more or less) regular content to the internet for people to discover and view as they choose.

So I started thinking, what SHOULD that mean at this point? And I decided that answer is everything and nothing, depending on who you are.

On one hand – if my blog wouldve carried on as solely fashion, my photos may have gotten better and I had remained consistent and diligent with posting, I may have ascended into the world of full time influencing and had an insta feed like some of the fabulous women I follow on the platform. On the other hand, which is exactly what has happened, I didn’t achieve those things. I didn’t stay with fashion, I didn’t remain consistent and only some of my photos got better (when other people took them).

However, what I have achieved as a result if starting a blog has made me pretty happy. It helped me to develop skills that allowed me to find my current career in marketing, I have met some great friends through the blogging community and I have enjoyed the challenge of finding my voice on a variety of topics. My writing is now more about real life and opinion; yeah fashion occasionally creeps in there but I’m ok with it being a side chick. You’ll find more of the fashion stuff on my instagram these days (shameless plug, but true story).

Whereas some people would expect a blogger of six years to have shot to the stars, I I’m fact consider myself to be exposing the moon. Not knowing what I’m gonna find there is way more interesting.

Happy birthday Jenny Chat!

Thanks for reading, now and for the past few days/weeks/months/years, J xx


Let’s Chat – April 2020

We’re not going out, so you’d think they wouldn’t be much to report on this month. That’s kind of true, buutttt…we live in an age where we can do lots from home thanks to modern technology, so I’ve been pretty much living my life but in a slightly smaller space.

April Jenny still repped a lot of PJs and loungewear, however she also got dressed in some nice frocks for being in the garden or for the couple of occasions she had to go out of the house (If anyone wants to know where any of the items are from, leave me a comment at the end)

  • American Pie movies: the Mr had an urge to watch them again so out they came. They’re in that nice ‘easy, funny, escapist’ category which is needed right now.
  • Gogglebox: how have I NEVER watched this before? It’s so funny! I’m nosey and like peeking in to other people’s lives, and it’s also kind of reassuring to know that other people have the same kind of chats about programmes as we do at home.
  • Tiger King: I wasn’t going to watch this but social media chat got the better of me. It was definitely a watch! And (don’t @ me) I dont think Carole Baskin killed her husband….
  • Inform Overload: this is a YouTube channel that I’ve just discovered. They do a lot of videos about influencers and celebs that help to provide body positivity/reality (sometimes with a little bit of shade thrown in, full disclosure) which I’ve found both interesting and comforting.
  • My lockdown 2020 playlist: I made myself a little playlist on Spotify – it has everything from songs I love to cheese to those poking fun at the situation
  • Katherine Ryan, Telling Everybody Everything: This is the brand new podcast by ‘TV’s Katherine Ryan’ about a variety of topics including first love and pregnancy loss. She does it by herself which is kind of unusual for a podcast, but it’s no different to her doing a stand up routine
  • Said goodbye to my lovely nan: my nan’s funeral was held early in the month (which my family scheduled around mine and the Mr’s self isolation so we could attend). It was a very different kind of service as you can imagine, we did it all ourselves as there was no celebrant. I also went the to go see her in the funeral home, something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do but I found huge comfort in.
  • Messing about with makeup: I’ve either been bare faced with gross hair or in full glam. I was hoping my skills would improve but sadly they haven’t!
  • Exercise: either for a walk outdoors or a dance fit workout at home. I will say that I haven’t done something every single day, there have been a couple of occasions where I’ve barely moved for a few days in a row.
  • Dyed my hair Rihanna red: I tried light pink, then purple but neither worked, so I tried red and that worked a little bit too well! If I’d had my roots sorted it probably would’ve looked better, but I got over the look very quickly and am still trying to fade the colour out.
  • Drinking: I dont drink often but I’ve enjoyed a few tipples at times of the week where I wouldn’t normally…my most popular blog post at the moment is Make your own Pomada so other people are definitely doing this too! I’ve also been drinking a helluva lot of tea and coffee, but still not enough water.

So, that’s April done and on to May. We’re well into spring, let’s see if that brings us closer to beating this thing.

Thanks for reading, J xx


Things people who grew up in the late 90s/ early 00s can relate to

Most of these are night out related, but that’s basically all that happened…enjoy!

Going out ‘clubbing’ as a 16 year old and being able to do little more than flirt with the bouncer to get through the door of a pub (I feel bad for kids of modern day society who can experience this)

Rocking barrel curls as a special occasion/night out ‘do, if it didn’t give you a massive headache and last for days afterwards then it wasn’t good enough.

School Disco nights.

Tattoos of Chinese symbols.

Wearing low slung combat trousers with high heels (thank you Girls Aloud)

Going to the phone box outside Burger King and ringing for a taxi, it turning up 15 minutes later and costing elss than a fiver.

Ripping the waistband off your jeans to make it low slung, cool and frayed.

Dawson’s Creek.

Blonde highlights, no purple shampoo.

Unruly hair, no straighteners.

Thanks for reading, J xx


Should we dress to impress?

Dress to impress. That phrase we’ve all heard umpteen times, seen on invitations, heard Gok Wan utter on dozens of TV shows over the years.

But what does it really mean; what is the definition of dressing to impress? Should we dress to impress, and if so who is it exactly is it that we’re trying to impress?

Dress up for your man. Now, how da hellllll do you do this?? When you’ve been in a relationship for over a decade as I have, your other half is either brutally honest about outfits they hate you in or say you look nice to get you out the door without having a meltdown (this is not to say he doesn’t ever genuinely like what I wear, but I’m tuned in enough to know the difference). We can only guess what men would be impressed by us wearing, and (spoiler alert) it may not be something you’re necessarily comfortable in. I’m not saying all men are into boobs out/short skirts/tight clothing (not all together obvs) but I’m willing to bet most of our stereotypical minds think they are most of the time.

Dress for the approval or other woman. This tends to be the one people do the most. We don’t say we do it, but I know from experience that I feel way more chuffed when a female has come up to me and asked about what I’m wearing. A lot of clothing women appreciate tends to be referred to as ‘man repelling’ which kind of backs up what I said earlier about what we think men want to see women wearing. But then, every woman has her own opinion about what looks nice too – some are into showing off what they’ve got, some are fashun forward to the enth degree, others may be docs and tee dresses all day errrr day.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you want to be a zoo keeper – should you wear khaki and carry a massive net? (I fully appreciate this is a super outdated stereotype, given I used to work in an industry where I came into contact with animal keepers). OK, that’s a bit of an outlandish example, but you get my point. For other more ‘usual jobs’ this is more ambiguous I’d say – my day job is marketing, but during my career I’ve worked in environments where I have to be very smartly dressed and others were being casual is encouraged. So if someone who wanted to work in the same profession wanted to impress and didn’t know the company culture, what would they wear? The default would likely be a suit or similar, but that could disengage the interviewers if that’s not how they do things.

Dress for yourself. THIS IS THE ONE YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO. Think about it – nobody knows better than you what you like, what you feel good in, what suits your shape and lifestyle. Only you can truly tell yourself that you feel good in what you have on (I don’t care how many people pay you compliments about your appearance; if you don’t believe it yourself it’ll never stick) and when that happens confidence will radiate out of you. I’ve you’re feeling confident the world will notice and respond to that – people you’re attracted to, other girls, a prospective employer. Now that’s impressive.

Thanks for reading, J xx


Let’s Chat – February 2020

For a short month (even though we had an extra day in it this year) I’ve had a super busy time!

Slight disclaimer – I’ve been pretty terrible at taking pictures of what I’ve been wearing (hair and nails are in) but I can reveal I’ve been enjoying a lot of faux leather and statement sleeves..

  • Bad Boys for Life soundtrack
  • Bon Jovi Jonas Brothers
  • Throwback hits on Viking FM

  • Bad Boys for Life: it’s the perfect balance between super serious action film and cheesy cop comedy, deffo recommend
  • Sex Education season 2: even more unanswered questions than the end of last season, sure there’s going to be a third, right?

  • -Saw Michael McIntyre live: last minute warm up gig for his Netflix spesh
  • Saw Lloyd Griffith live: #LetLloydSingAtWembley
  • Saw Jimmy Carr live: a crazy woman claiming she was called Hilary Clinton heckled, a LOT
  • I went on the radio: this time I was on the BBC Radio Humberside afternoon show talking about how blogging can make you more employable (based on this post)
  • Saw Phil Wang live: have we seen a pattern for the month here?? Usually our comedy gigs are far more spaced out, but if ever there was a time I needed a good laugh it’s now so I’m kinda grateful
  • Holiday booking: I’ve booked a girls trip to Ibiza for the month after for my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday. We’re doing the full shebang with Ocean Beach and everything. I’m excited yet a bit scared!
  • I met Latrice Royale: After being kindly gifted entry to the first Pride in Hull Queer AF event in January, myself and Kat booked (and paid for) tickets to the second event which was headlined by Drag Race Season 4 alum Latrice.

2020 is already proving pretty busy and expensive, but I’m very much here for it so far!

Thanks for reading, J xx


Let’s chat – January 2020

I’m very lucky that I know a lot of people who serve as an inspiration to me in all aspects of life, probably more so than they realise.

Recently, I’ve become inspired to basically picked up the baton that my pal Call me Amy put down at the back end of 2019 on a slightly different style of monthly roundup post, so that’s what I’m kicking off today.

I think she’s come up with a really good format that I’ve enjoyed reading from her, and personally I think it will be good me to reflect the good bits of each month and actually plan stuff in. Less time spending every waking moment away from work glued to the couch for me this year! So, here we go, enjoy…

– Cardi B, Invasion of Privacy

– Ministry of Sound Throwback Hip Hop

– Eminem, Best of

– 24: Typical me, I only get into a show after it’s finished! Currently on the penultimate series watching Jack Bauer have incredibly action packed days without having any sleep whilst being in his late 40s. True goals.

– Roast Battle (Comedy Central): Funny and savage in one handy half hour segment!

– Friends (Comedy Centre/Channel 5): Could I BE any more hipster throwback?

– Celebrated the Mr’s birthday: He got presents, we had nice dinner and cake, and for the next six months I can pretend he’s only a year younger than me

– Went to a roller disco: Talked into by friends, too scared to do it properly, only accident I managed to have was getting out the car on the way home. Not for me!

– Went on the radio: I popped into BBC Radio Humberside to appear with my HEY Blogger gals on No Filter which was hosted by our Violet! Click the no filter link to listen to our ep.

– Saw Ed Byrne live: This guy was the first comedian who ever made me laugh out loud, yet this is only the second time I’ve ever seen him live and the first time in Hull

– Partied with drag queens: I was kindly invited to the Pride in Hull Queer AF event (which was the same night as Ed, check me out doing double bubble!) where I got to meet the Drag Race UK finalist Baga Chipz!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


The two things fashion brands do that tear people down. Why are we STILL accepting it?

I’ve had this post saved in my drafts for a really long time, but put off finishing it and publishing it. When I say a really long time, I think maybe a year or so.

Why? I’m not 100% sure to be honest, but my current theory is that I’m worried of how I’ll be perceived for publishing it.

At the moment, I’m probably in the ‘average girl’ category (albeit on the larger side of this group) – I’m not plus size, nor am I slim, just kind of in that middle ground that doesn’t have a defined identity (at least not yet, but ladies like Lucy Wood are doing their part to carve one out for people like we). So, there’s two reasons that make me a little uncertain about speaking out. A, because I don’t want the plus size community to believe that I’m speaking out about concerns that I have no business to speak about. C (and completely paradoxically) I’m scared it makes me look like just another girl who was once a size 10 gained a lot of weight and is bitter about that so is blaming everybody but herself.

But in reality, whichever of these camps you fall in, the concerns I want to talk about affect us all. The difference really is how it affects us – it could be sent to the self esteem, it could be the disappointment at no longer being able to shop at your favourite online store all of a sudden, or it could simply be the frustration in not being able to understand what the hell you’re meant to look for when shopping for clothing.

So, after this epic intro and no doubt overthinking justification, here’s what I think those issues are and you can judge what yourself…

  1. Size Exclusion

I don’t mean this as a straight “clothing brands should offer a larger size range to be more inclusive” I’m talking about those weird, sly sizing moves some of the brands (mainly the smaller brands) inexplicably make.

Picture the scene – you spot a nice top when your browsing an online store and the sizes as S/M/L/XL, you’re not sure which get so you hit the size guide page for some guidance. Size XL, the largest size offered, is listed as an equivalent of a size 12. Or, you check the measurements and yes, that’s my usual size so that’s what you order. But when your order arrived, it most definitely ain’t the size and measurements it said it was.

These are pretty confusing message for shoppers, and certainly for me it’s made a variety of things go through my head – am I wrong, is this the size that I should’ve start worrying about? Are they wrong, are they just not understanding women very well? Or….are these brands being shady bitches and making their range only accessible to people with body measurements that they think would look better in their clothes? As many of the brands I’ve experienced this with have been founded by young single men, I can’t help but think it’s likely to be a combo of the latter two.

2. Vanity sizing

This ‘trend’ comes around more often than than a Brexit deal vote, and this is where the sheer frustration and self loathing can really set in. Michael McIntyre wrote a whole set about this issue which means that not only have blokes noticed this is a thing, but that it’s so known that’s laughable.

For past two or three years I’ve noticed a steady trend of size guides increasing measurements, therefore the size you may have been in one clothing brand for years may not be what you are now. I actually noticed this more when I was on the smaller size – I’d lost a lot of weight to become a size 10 which I was for many years, and could comfortably order clothing on a regular basis knowing it would fit. All of a sudden, I became aware that my measurements had mysteriously been bumped up on the size grid. I hadn’t changed at all at this point, yet my favourite retailers were now telling me I had gained one or sometimes even two dress sizes virtually overnight. That simultaneously pissed me off and made me despair. Why had I put my blood, sweat and tears of effort into making my own body feel better to be told that in fact no, you’re in exactly the same position as you were before that journey.

I’ve experienced vanity sizing at the opposite end of the scale too – when I was smaller there were times when items of clothing would be a little too big in my ‘usual’ size so I would have to size down (usually things like dresses or skirts where the emphasis was at the waist. I’ve inserted a photo below from 2012 to show you a time when River Island was telling me I was a size 8, when it’s clear that’s not true). Unlike the other, I never felt flattered or in any way better about myself when this did happen. My head was clear enough to know this was a problem with sizing.

I know that size labels on clothing don’t matter and it’s how you look and feel in something, I know that, but we all have moments of vulnerability and vanity that mean sometimes these things do get in and physche you out. You can be as strong as you like but the fact remains that, if vanity sizing didn’t exist, it would remove the problem.

So, just why are we still accepting this?

That’s an excellent question, why do we? Because it’s been happening for such a long time and “that’s just how it is”. I can’t think of any other legitimate reason.

But, can we do anything about it?

Absolutely! I mean, surely?

The more society question why things are, and encourage the idea of alternative practices, the more likely change is to happen. But it has to be consistent and it has to be the voice of many, and we have to accept that it may take time. The most important changes often do.

This is a concern that goes hand in hand with diversity amongst fashion brands (and brands in general for that matter), social media vs Reality perfection and simply a person’s right to not have any more reasons to feel ostracised or disheartened by the world we live in.

Thank you for attending this impromptu and ever so slightly ranty TED talk; it’s an issue that remains very central to my daily life and one that impacts on me more than I should let it.

Let me know in the comments or on my social media channels if you’ve noticed either of these problems too and how it’s affected you.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


The clothing items every gal needs in her wardrobe

I miss doing fashion content all the time. Don’t get me wrong; I adore the fact that my interests have grown and diversified over the past few years, but my passion for style is what pushed me to start my blog.

So, what better way to kick off the year than with a cheeky lil’ style post??

With the benefit of my many (many, many) years of buying clothes and styling outfits, I’ve come to develop a few staples that mix trends, classic styles and are easy to throw on and go. I’m not by any means someone who could create a capsule wardrobe, I generally live my life by a ‘I see it, I like it, it comes in 4 other colours too? I got it’ mantra!but it works well for me, so here are the items I can ALWAYS rely on.

Black ankle boots

They go with literally everything I wear – jeans, dresses, work, weekend, I wear them all the time!

My current go-to pair are a western style suede pair I got for Christmas 2018 from Marks & Spencer as part of the Holy Willoughby collection (which I later bought in Brown). They’re dead easy to pull on, easy to walk in with the low block heel and look cool because they’re different to a lot of other ankle boot styles.

Leather look trousers

The luxe look of the material instant,y elevates and adds texture to a simple look whilst looking effortlessly put together, so I always make sure I have a pair in my wardrobe. They’re a great piece to dress up and down no matter what your shape, size or personal style a d I legit cannot remember what I did before discovering them.

My top three places to pick up a decent quality and very affordable pair are Matalan, Next and Dorothy Perkins (these are my current pair).

Biker Jacket

Instantly adds an edge to any look – girly looks a bit edgy, simple outfits look a little bit more cool. The same as double denim, I have been known to do a double faux leather look on occasion by teaming a biker with leather look trousers….

I used to have an incredibly extra one with a nipped in waist a spiky stud detailing on the shoulders (I’ll insert a throwback pic of this below) but after wearing it to absolute death, I kept it simpler with this ASOS number that would suit pretty much anybody.

Trainers

Not the type you chuck on when you’re going running or to a gym sesh, I mean just a nice easy pair of kicks you can throw on for a day of running around on a weekend to be comfy and cute.

Much like by boots, I wear trainers with most things in my wardrobe as they I stantly dress down a look and make feel a bit more funky.

Over the years my favourite pairs to grab have varied – it started with Air Max Thea, then superstars, Stan Smiths, Converse, Vans and back then back round again. If pushed, I’d say three different kinds are good to have – a pair of sneakers (like converse/vans that aren’t trainer trainers), a pair of chunkier ones (like the superstars) and something more sport feeling (air max)

Red lippy

I know its not a wardrobe staple as such, but I’d argue that a red lop is almost as valuable to a look as a handbag or paid of shoes!

If I wanna feel glam, red lip. I want to feel put together, red lip. If I’m having a down day and need a shot of confidence, red lip!

I have two that I swear by – one is NYX Liquid Suede in Kitten Heels which is a true red that has incredible staying power and is great value at £7 (a little goes a long way so it lasts ages). The other is MAC Chilli which is a deeper red with a slight brown undertone that I find incredibly flattering on my skin tone. It doesn’t quite have the staying power as its a standard lipstick, but it’s a beautiful formula that looks and feels great.

Leopard print

No specific item, just the print. It’s essentially a part of a neutral colour palette these days that adds a bit of texture to any look. I have more than a few things in my wardrobe in leopard – wrap dress, skater dress (different types of leopard so totally fine) cardigans, jackets, shoes even.

If you’re feeling bold, match it up with a colour such as purple or red to make a statement. If you’re feeling less brave then keep it simple in black and white.

A skater dress in a cute print

Its a great shape that’s easy to wear, a print instantly does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to styling, and it can be dressed up or down by changing a shoe and a lip colour.

Wrap dress

The same as a skater dress, they’re my lazy gal tip to putting together a nice outfit. Not only that, but they’re incredibly flattering to everybody – they show off and create nice lines on the body whilst remaining respectable yet a bit sexy and fun. Diane Von Furstenburg built an empire on this style of frock for good reason!

At the moment, I have three beautiful wrap dresses from Joanie clothing in some different and bold prints that have seen me through all kinds of occasions – girly brunch, dinner date, Christmas party, shopping days and work.

If you’re in a little wardrobe funk or just looking for some more options to add into your current rotation to mix it up for the new year, I hope this has helped give you a bit of inspo!

thanks for reading,

J xx


My Instagram best nine (2019)

It’s that time of year again – when an internet generator tells us all which nine pics had the most likes, we’re all a bit surprised by a couple and we have a nosey at everybody else’s. So here are mine!

1 University of Hull, August

I took this picture to go with my 8 Reasons to Choose Hull blog post in collaboration with the University, and to be honest i think it did well because they reposed it on their social media channels.

I have worked and studied on this campus and it’s just a lovely place to to be.

2 Mykonos Town, August

Well, I think it’s a given that this one was going to be popular wasn’t it! I made sure to capture a lot of images that were very un-Mykonos, as the stuff you see on Insta really is such a tiny part of the island (something I spoke about in my Things that surprised me about Mykonos blog post) but the at the end of the day it is gorgeous there and I’m easily influenced by wanting to take a nice pic!

3 Cottingham – East Yorkshire, June

I took these photos to post on my birthday and I’d just bought a year of birth sweatshirt from Rock on Ruby. I was totally living for the wild meadows all around the area, so one day a vey kind work colleague and I took a little lunch time outing to enjoy the flowers and snap some pics.

4 Lanzarote, April

I went off on my first family holiday in years to a villa in Lanzarote, and on this night the Mr and I sloped off for a cheeky date night. The dress and hat are from Matalan than he had very kindly picked up for on the day we went away (I tried them on in the airport hotel) and they fit like a dream, unfortunately I only managed two wears of the dress before the zip ripped (just as I was about to wear it for a third time and on the way out the door) so that was he end of that.

5 Hull, May

You can tell here, but despite the fact it was spring it was ridiculously freezing! However, it was Bank Holiday and I was determined that I couldn’t have to wear tights so smiled through the chill and hoped my legs wouldn’t look too blue.

6 Lanzarote, April

I tired my hand at a getting a bit of body confidence back and decided a good way to do this would be to post a couple of swimwear pics and see that nobody was going to write anything horrendous in the comments. This was the second of the two I posted (I lived this Next swimsuit so much I bought it in cobalt blue for my Mykonos trip) on a day I felt very happy about Bank Holiday weekend and booking a holiday.

7 Liverpool, June

I headed to my fave UK city for my birthday for a day of chill at a time when my life was very hectic for some not so good reasons. I had cocktails, did some shopping and ate all the food, which definitely helped to give a bit of respite.

8 Mykonos Town, August

This photo was taken at exactly the same time as the other Mykonos photo, it was literally the other side of the camera. You can also see from this angle that I’m just a little bit sunburnt, which is why I was wearing an off the shoulder frock.

9 University of Hull, August

Rounding things off exactly where we started, back at uni with a very unposed shot! This was a very really laugh and it was because my gal Kat was crouched on the floor in front of me saying all sorts of random stuff whilst her cleavage was pretty much in my face. That was a fun outing.

And that, my friends, is some of my year in pics. It definitely doesn’t cover a full spread of my year but it does remind me of some of the best bits. I hope you enjoy looking through yours too.

Thanks for reading,

J xx