Southern Yacht

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

Sunday 20 March 2016

Plus40Fabulous - things I'm proud of

Hello there

The theme for this months Plus40Fabulous post is things that make you proud - be they big things or little things.

Now I remember doing something similar to this when I worked at the Civil Service (yep - I'll admit to that). The thing that stuck in my mind from that exercise was being told that all the things I'd chosen were invalid, things such as relationships, owning your own home etc etc. As you can guess, I wasn't too impressed! I think what makes you proud is a very personal thing. It's easy to sound like bragging or showing off, but it's not. For me, it's things I've worked hard for and things that have made others happy.

For this post I haven't included relationships etc as the other half is not into social media of any shape or form so I don't like to drag him into that. Maybe one day though (if hell happens to freeze over...). we go...

Learning to drive

As long as I can remember, I was desperate to learn to drive and as soon as I was 17 I was there having lessons and even got myself a Saturday job in WH Smith to pay for them. My driving instructor was called Henry and was the most eccentric person you could hope to meet. He used to sit there doing his nails while I wobbled through junctions and down dual carriageways. He wasn't adverse to swearing at bus drivers either - what a great teacher!

I am so glad though that I learnt early. I think when we're young we there are some things we're braver about. I never remember being scared about having accidents or breaking down. But if I was to learn now, I'd be terrified after watching all those programmes about road rage, traffic accidents etc. Plus in my day, there were no theory tests or parallel parking assessments.

My first car was a little mini, and it took me everywhere - I can't find any photos of it unfortunately - but it gave me the freedom to just jump in the car and go. And to some extent, I still have that mindset today. I'm not going to claim to the worlds best driver by any means, but I'm not a nervous one. Most importantly now, being able to drive means I can take my mother out whenever she wants, I can help friends when they need it and we can have holidays exploring hidden places here and abroad (driving in France will always be terrifying though)

(this isn't how I normally drive - honest)

Getting my degree

When I left college, going to University wasn't the automatic next step it is now for students (although with increasing fees, that seems to be changing now). I always wondered what if - but as I had no idea what I wanted to do - I could never have decided on a course.

Well, after a few career changes, I ended up in the Civil Service where I received funding to do a degree as a mature student at Aberystwyth University. This was an amazing opportunity which I am so very grateful for. The course was primarily distance learning with 3 residential modules. Those modules alone gave me the taste of student life that I thought I had missed out on. The cold showers, cheap booze at the student bar, trying to find my way back to my room in the early hours while a little worst for wear, making friends and bonding over impossible assignments.

After 4 years, I ended up with a degree in Information & Library Studies. I even got to wear the funny hat and do the whole graduation experience.

Myself and my Mother in 2003, I can't believe it's been 13 years since I graduated! Getting my degree opened up so many doors, and now I'm in the early stages of being self employed. Scary but exciting and all possible because I grabbed the opportunity and made the most of it (Plus I discovered that I liked Malibu and lemonade...)

Taking my Mother to Graceland

My Mother is a huge Elvis fan and I'm not adverse to a few good Elvis songs either. Elvis died before she ever got the chance to see him live so the next best thing would be to see his home, Graceland, in Memphis.

We often say that one day we 'must do this' or we 'must go there'. Well, one day, we did just that. I knew that Mother is not a fan of organised or regulated tours. So we planned a holiday where we did all our own things at our own pace and off we went to Memphis - just me and my Mother. You could say we seized the moment!

This I think is my proudest achievement. It was Mothers dream to see Graceland and we did. We stayed in Memphis, hired a car and drove to Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis and took a paddle steamer down the Mississippi. She loved every moment and I'm so pleased I could help make those memories for her.

Our photos are all in boxes at the moment, so this blurry effort was the best I could find. Hopefully it gives an idea of what we got up to! I really want to take her again.

Looking back through this post, I think that as well as having lots of things I'm proud of, there's also a common theme of grabbing an opportunity as you never know where it may lead you. But it's not just the big things, it's the little things too. Relationships and friends come to mind here.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane - be sure to check out the blogs of the other lovely folk taking part:


Thanks for reading



Tuesday 15 March 2016

Lou-Lou's Vintage fair at Southampton Guildhall

Hello there,

For the first time in ages, it's felt like a proper spring weekend. So what better way to celebrate than a trip out to have a rummage through a vintage fair?

Lou Lou's Vintage Fair were at Southampton Guildhall this weekend just gone. The Guildhall itself is a beautiful building. It was opened in 1937 and is part of the civic buildings that house Southampton City Council, Art Gallery and Library. I've seen many a show here and with the regeneration currently going on at this end of Southampton, I'm pretty sure it's got a long life ahead of it.

Although it's a pretty small space once inside - there was a lot packed in. One thing I noticed this year was a really good selection of mens wear- which often seems overlooked at vintage fairs.

Caught in the act!

Curlies Vintage - I've seen this seller before. It would be so easy to spend a small fortune here, they have an amazing choice of jewellery and bits & pieces.

And of course - there was cake! A huge selection of homemade cakes in every flavour you could imagine. I opted for the Chocolate Victory cake - I said it tasted of my childhood and it really did! Just like the cakes my mother used to make.

This was a lovely way to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning. I love a good old rummage through a vintage fair. And of course, something had to come home with me: a little pomander pendant.

Thanks for reading



Sunday 13 March 2016

Empties post - January & February

Hello there,

I wasn't sure about doing this as I didn't think I'd have enough to talk about. But I know I love reading these sort of posts and for me personally it gives me ideas of new products to buy and if I'm undecided about something, it can often be the tipping point on whether I buy it or not.  So I collected empties for a few weeks, and here we are!

(and yes - I meant to post this earlier but the dreaded lurgy put pay to that!)

First up - and the type of product I get through the most - conditioners and shampoos.

Herbal Essenses - Hello Hydration conditioner

There's going to be a bit theme in this post, so I might as well start with it straight away - I really didn't like the smell of this at all. It wasn't a bad product at all and made my hair feel soft, but it wasn't enough of a 'wow' to make me buy it again.

Garnier Ultimate Blends conditioner - strength restorer

This was an ok product, but just that - ok and nothing more. Alarmingly, it made my hair really fluffy, which sounds nice but isn't always the look you're going for and it's not something I'd be buying again. On the plus side though, it smelt lovely.

Aussie Friss Miracle conditioner 

This was a huge disappointment for me - not only was the smell overpowering (am I the only one who doesn't like the smell of Aussie Hair products?) but it really didn't help with frizz control at all. I was finding a cheap basic conditioner was doing a better job of keeping the frizz under control.

Aussie Repair Miracle conditioner

I bought this the same time as the Frizz Miracle conditioner as there was a 2 for £7 offer in Tesco. For me, this was just an ok product and seemed better at controlling frizz than the proper frizz conditioner. At the moment, I'm thinking I wouldn't buy these conditioners again, but I just know in another 6 months or so, there'll be a special offer on and I'll be sucked in again. I still have a couple of Aussie products which I'm using with more success (3 Minute Miracle conditioner and Miracle Hair Insurance) so I'll review those on here soon.

Dove Purely Pampering body wash

I think this is the first ever Dove product I've never finished - again due the smell. I like vanilla but this was just too overpowering. On the plus side, it didn't leave my skin dry after showering.

Colgate Max White One toothpaste

This is seriously the best ever whitening toothpaste I've ever used. It gives instant results so it's not something I use regularly but instead I save it for special occasions. As it's not cheap, it does mean it lasts a lot longer. The paste itself is a grey/blue colour but don't be put off by that - it really works!

Body Shop Peppermint Reviving Leg Gel

I was in two minds whether to buy this or not as peppermint is a smell I really hate. But I'd heard so many good things about this, I took the plunge when I had a voucher code for Body Shop. Yes, it's a really really strong smell which many people will love (I had to hold my breath!) but it's amazing at reducing puffy ankles and feet, due in part to the horse chestnut that's in here. I was suffering from occasional swelling after my ankle op last year so I used this - and it worked. So much so, I even have another bottle for those bad days.

Superdrug Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser

I had heard this was a dupe for the Liz Earle range, so when it was reduced I bought a bottle. Now I have fairly dry skin and I'm in my late forties, so I wasn't sure this would be good match for me. Oh my goodness - I have to say - this is the best face wash I have ever used. I realised the other day that since using this regularly, I've had no major breakouts and I feel sure my skin looks healthier (even if I don't always feel it inside!). I've combined it with the Superdrug Brightening Moisturiser and I feel as if it's the healthiest my skin has felt for years.

NSPA Grapefruit shower and bath gel

The NSPA range (as far as I know) is exclusive to Asda. This grapefruit shower gel smelt heavenly and really helped wake me up in the morning, there's something about grapefruits that always reminds me of holidays. I haven't seen this scent for sale for a while though so I'm hoping it's not discontinued. At the moment I'm using the apple scent which is equally gorgeous.

So that's my empties for the last two months, far more than I expected. I'll try to keep collecting the empties and do another post in a couple of months.

Thanks for reading


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