Southern Yacht

My little take on plus size fashion, life, travel and smurfs

Sunday 31 January 2016

A day out in The Wallops

Hello there,

Now, chances are unless you live in or know Hampshire, you're probably wondering what on earth The Wallops are.

The Wallops are a group of villages in Hampshire - Middle Wallop, Over Wallop and Nether Wallop. Middle Wallop is home to a British Army Base which houses The Museum of Army Flying.

Now I appreciate this isn't everyone's idea of an exciting day out, but both my hobbies and work deal with military history and aviation so when I saw a 2 for 1 offer on Groupon, it seemed too good an offer to miss.

On the day we went, the weather was glorious, a real crisp sunny winters day. But even if it was wet, it would be an ideal place to visit as most of it is indoors.

They certainly pack a lot in! And for kids (or should I say me) there was plenty of exhibitions where you poke, prod and pull stuff. I love being hands on in a museum and it's such a good way to keep children engaged. They even let you climb on some of the exhibits...

The Groupon voucher we'd bought also included a hot drink and a cake. All the cakes were homemade - and very yummy... and no, these aren't both mine...honest....

The site is a working army base, so from the cafe you can watch planes and helicopters taking off and landing. For a plane spotter, it would be easy to spend a whole day here with an endless supply of cake and tea to hand. 

And to finish the day - the obligatory pose in front of a tank shot

As it was chilly day and I knew I'd be clambering around, I opted for a casual look. Jumper is from Evans (22/24), jeans from Marks and Spencer (22, old), coat from George at Asda (22) and boots are from Primark. I've mentioned these boots before, but my goodness! These are the comfiest and warmest footwear I own at the moment - best purchase ever from Primark,

I love days out like this and anything to do with history, esp military really interests me. I would definitely recommend keeping an eye out on any Groupon or similar type offers (this post isn't sponsored by any of them btw). There's a few more museums and days out I have my eye on which helps with my 16 for 16 goal of finding new places to visit.

Thanks for reading and hopefully I might have given a few of you some ideas for a day out.


Wednesday 20 January 2016

OOTD - My new Joe Browns jumper, and why I cut it up

Hello there,

Oh my goodness, is it cold enough for everyone? I think I've gotten so used to the unseasonably mild weather that this cold snap has really caught me off guard.

But cold weather is the perfect time to dig out all those cosy jumpers so out came my Joe Browns jumper from Simply Be.

Now I bought this a while back and to be honest, I didn't know how to wear it. I fell in love with it, but somehow I couldn't get it to work for me. I'm 5'3 so I think that played a part in it. The skirt part of the jumper was too long. It fell just above the knees and made me look shorter than I already was. Now sensible Cathy would have returned it for a refund. But nope, I kept it and kept looking at it. I could have worn it with leggings and boots as a short jumper dress, but that really wasn't my style.

I think another reason I wasn't working for me was the ra-ra skirt. I'm old enough to remember these the first time round and I didn't like them then. So what to do? One early morning and a bright idea later and this happened:

You guessed it, I cut the bottom layer off. Now, I'm quite happy to cut up and alter older clothes, charity shop finds etc, but I don't normally do it with brand new items. But, for me, I think it works.

(please excuse the wobbly pictures, it was too damn cold to pose in the garden like normal)

Oh look - it even has pockets too!

The underskirt is attached to a lining that goes up the complete length of the jumper. Making it extra cosy without feeling too bulky, this is a size 22.

I now have a jumper that I love wearing and have worn lots in this cold weather. While I wouldn't necessarily advise buying new clothes to cut up, it is worth looking at items that you don't enjoy wearing or have fallen out of love with to see what you could do to give them a new lease of life.

And what's happening with the bits I cut off? The plan at the moment is to find a cheap denim skirt or dress so that I can sew a ruffle hem onto. And if I have enough left over, maybe a few fabric brooches as well.

Thanks for reading and I hope it's given you some ideas



Sunday 17 January 2016

Post40Fabulous - childhood influences

Hello there,

This months topic was to talk about how our teens/childhood have influenced our choices.

Now, I have to admit, this was a hard one for me. I know lots of people have childhood icons or people they admire during their teenage years, but me, nope! 

Don't get me wrong, there was and is plenty of music, artists, groups etc I liked. But apart from a few years where I loved Bucks Fizz (which I'm not ashamed to admit!) and the non-stop playing of Garbage while I was attempting to write my dissertation, no artist, group or person has ever stood out for me. I don't recall ever admiring anybody's style or aspiring to be like anybody. Maybe that makes me unique? I don't know, but over the last few days, I tried hard to think if this really was right.Was I going to draw a blank on this topic??

And then I realised, there was one big, almost huge influence that was just so big, I couldn't see it for looking. As a child I was intrigued by all things American. I watched as many tv shows and films from there as I could. I loved the Bionic Woman (anyone remember that?).

Early influences - how many do you remember?

I thought Las Vegas sounded like a dreamland, the deserts were full of cowboys and everyone in New York carried a gun. As I got older, it became an obsession, a goal to visit, to go and see all the places I'd watched on TV and experience all the things that Americans take for granted.

And so I did. To date, I've visited 37 US states. I've watched sunrises in Hawaii and sunsets in Key West. Drove through desert floods in Arizona and snow in the Rockies. Ate pizza at the top of the Twin Towers in New York and days later watched them fall while sat in a bar in Las Vegas. I've met the most amazing people, and been treated to wonderful hospitality and kindness.

How can you not fall in love with views like this?

I kind of dress American when I'm there!

They say you should never meet your idol, that they can never live up your expectations. I half expected this before visiting Las Vegas, after all, this was the big dream - and you know what? It exceeded all expectations. So much so that I've revisited the city many times since. I am the person you will find wandering through the casino at 2 in the morning people watching. 

So I truly think that America, it's people and culture was and still is my biggest influence. Look carefully and there's pictures of America all over the walls at home, the bookcases are filled with American books, fiction and non-fiction. One wall in the kitchen is covered with an American map and my inbox is full of American newsletters. If we could move there tomorrow, we would.

For me, it's an everlasting love and my biggest influence in terms of what I read, watch and aspire to travel to. There's nothing better than picking up a car and just heading out far away from all the tourist areas into the heartland and meeting real people. Whenever the plane lands on American soil - I feel like I've come home. I don't know how else to describe it.

These are the are the other lovely folk taking part in Plus40Fabulous, be sure to check them out.

Betty Pamper:

Thanks for reading



Friday 1 January 2016

A New Year - 16 in 16

Hello there,

Happy New Year! The lovely Sophie from Busy Little Fee had the wonderful idea of looking at 16 things we can do in 2016.

I have to admit, it was pretty hard to think of 16 things. I don't believe in making resolutions as such and I don't tend to share my personal life on here too much so inevitably there are some things which I will keep private. But I did eventually come up with a list of 16 things:

  1. Move the blog to self hosting. Now I'm just a hobby blogger, I'll be the first to admit that, but I do love doing it and it's coming up to the two year anniversary in March this year. So I aim to try to move to self hosting by then. Arghhh.....!
  2. Try to do 4 posts a month. Sometimes life overtakes us and plans like this go out the window. But I'm going to try my hardest. I did my own version of Blogmas last year and I survived, so 4 posts a month can't be too hard...can it?
  3. More OOTDs. I have a terrible habit of getting to the end of the day and completely forgetting to take a pic of what I wore. Now admittedly, a lot of the time, it's just jeans and jumpers, but on some days, I push the boat out and it's those days I need to remember to blog about.
  4. As some of you will know, I work free-lance from home. This year I really want to build on this and be more successful.
  5. Travel more. Ideally round the world! But failing that, anywhere. Working from home esp, it's far too easy to become housebound. This isn't really a new goal, more of a continuation from previous years. Even a trip to the next town along to do some shopping, or a day trip to London. A change of scenery does you the world of good.
  6. Try vlogging before the year is out. Now, I've done holiday videos in the past and some for hobbies, but none yet for the blog. Quite what I could talk about, who knows, but I'll try to do something this year.
  7. Ignore the people who think blogging is silly, vain, a joke, a waste of time etc. I don't tend to tell many people that I have a blog for this very reason. But even so, I've heard all of the above.
  8. De-clutter!! Again, this is a continuation. I've been selling on Ebay and charity shopping all the things I no longer wear or need. It's hard going - I tend to get over-sentimental and hate getting rid of things. But de-clutter I must - esp if I want to buy new things!! (see the problem there??).
  9. Save money - use charity shops more. Now this isn't hard to do at all. I love nothing more than having a good old mooch around our local charity shops. But they don't just do clothes. Use them for homeware, books, curtains and even greetings cards.
  10. Museums. I love museums and I'm so aware there's lots in the Hampshire area that I haven't yet visited, despite living here all my life. So I plan to compile a checklist and see how many I can do in the coming year.
  11. Do one thing per month that's new. This kind of ties in with the previous goal, but doesn't just have to be museums. Instead of passing by a cafe or shop and wondering what it's like - stop and go in. You might find a new favourite.
  12. Stop for coffee - again, similar to the previous goal. I want to rush less and stop for coffee (or in my case - hot chocolate). Take time out to stop and watch the world.
  13. Spend less time online. Now this is a weird one. Yes, I want to grow my blog, but I also need to spend less time comparing it to other blogs. It's mine and unique to me and will grow in it's own time. I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook already - anything with too many dramas is a real switch-off!
  14. Crafting. I love crafting, esp jewellery making. That's really dropped by the wayside though in the last year or so as I've had less free-time after going freelance. It's a relaxing hobby so I'd like to start again in 2016.
  15. Remember to reply to messages! Those that know me will know how bad I am at this! I look at a message, think of a reply in my head, then get distracted and never actually do it. I will try to do better - honest!
  16. Be as fabulous in 2016 as I was in 2015! I saw this image going round online in the last few days and I think it's so true.

These aren't resolutions, just goals and aims for the forthcoming year. And if none come to fruition - than we'll all still be just as fabulous as we were at the start of the year.
Anyway - that's my goals for the year. Hope you enjoyed reading them and I'll try to revisit maybe halfway through the year to see how I'm doing.

Thanks for reading

Blogger Template Created by pipdig