OOTD Outtakes // 2014- 2015

Last March, I posted my 
OOTD outtakes and it was so well-received (and fun to write!) that I decided to make it an annual feature. For the past 12 months, I've been saving my terrible photos to create this collection. Unlike last year, I've decided to include a link to the final post so you can see how the nice photos looked!
The Funky Moves Pose: 7th May 2014 and 14th May 2014

The Everything's-Going-Wrong Pose: 8th April 2014 and 19th January 2015

The Half-Undressed Pose: 17th May 2014 and 8th February 2015
The Look-at-my-Bangers Pose: 3rd May 2014 and 21st October 2014

The Help-I-Can't-Close-My-Mouth Pose: 13th April 2014 and 22nd October 2014
The Would-Have-Worked-If-It-Weren't-For-My-Mouth/Sudden-Loss-of-Limb Pose: 9th April 2014 and 22nd June 2014

Finally, I leave you with this: My Quick-a-Car's-Coming face. 

What have I learned from this post? May is a really good time for outtakes! 

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Easy, Last-Minute World Book Day Costumes

My favourite event of the school year is fantastic but it always presents a problem: What am I going to wear for World Book Day? For those who don't spend the evening before compiling costumes until the early hours of the morning (props to all the parents out there!), World Book Day is an annual event in March (this year it's Thursday 5th March) to celebrate reading all over the globe. Children are presented with vouchers for special free books (or £1 off a regular book) and there is a huge celebration in every school, with special book-related events and, of course, fancy dress!

You may not already know that I am Queen of Fancy Dress so I always have huge ambitious ideas which, inevitably, all go wrong. Instead of rushing around trying to sew something spectacular, I've compiled a list of easy peasy, last minute World Book Day costumes with items you probably already have lurking around in your wardrobe.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Everybody loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the costume is super-simple to put together. Just green everything! Green jeans, leggings, skirt, tops, dresses... Whatever you have to hand. Black shoes for one of your pairs of feets and a red hat for the face. Stick some paper eyes on and you have a caterpillar!

Jeans: M&M // Top: New Look // Hat: New Look // Shoes: H&M

Dennis the Menace
Maybe the rebel look is more your thing, in which case turn to Dennis the Menace. A red and black striped top of some form, teamed with black shorts and red socks poking out of chunky boots is instantly recognisable.

Top: House of Fraser // Shorts: New Look // Socks: Sock Shop // Boots: Boohoo

Alice in Wonderland
This is one I've pulled out of the bag again and again because it's just so easy! The only item that might prove tricky is the apron but you could make one out of an old sheet quite simply. Just team a pale blue dress (and apron if possible) with white tights, black ballet pumps and a black bow in your hair, if you want to go down the slightly more recognisable Disney route. Simple!

Dress: Boohoo // Hair bow: New Look // Ballet pumps: H&M

Whatever you decide to dress yourself- or your kids- up as this year, I would love to know so please do let me know in the comments!

Previous World Book Day posts:
2014- as Baby Bear
2013- as Alice in Wonderland

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On body positivity and maintenance

Body positivity is a funny old thing, isn't it? As much as I think of myself as a champion for body confidence, the truth is I, like everyone, have some pretty substantial body hangups. It's odd because I've reached a point where I feel afraid to mention my insecurities. If I do, is somebody going to think I'm faking the whole body positivity thing? Or am I going to be criticised again for mentioning my flaws? It feels very black and white: If you promote body confidence, you have to be positive in all areas of your own body. But, of course, real life isn't like that.
When I was a young, between the ages of 10 and 15, I was horrendously insecure but there was something that prevented me from doing anything about it. I hated my frizzy hair, my discoloured teeth, my body hair and my glasses and yet I felt changing my appearance was something to do "when I'm older". I was always thinking about how I would change my look when I was old enough, without realising that I could have changed all of those things at any point.
Once I hit 16, and fell heavily into my emo days, style was everything. I was desperate for straight, black, sideparted hair. My glasses and braces let me down and prevented me being the emo babe I'd envisioned. Yet there was nothing stopping me from using hair straighteners and getting contacts. I was resigned to these insecurities, thinking there was no way out of them.
Of course, the whole emo thing faded and once I started this blog I was influenced by all those amazing, positive girls who own their appearance. They're beautiful and confident in their own skin, and that's what I wanted too. I couldn't change my appearance. That would be cheating, right?

It wasn't one particular epiphanous moment that changed my thinking but more a slow revelation. It started with my contact lenses. I first got them in 2009 but gave up after a couple of months before returning to them in 2012. I was so happy and confident with them and loved the benefits of swimming, going on rollercoasters and doing my make up with the ability to see. Then I started straightening my hair and discovered that my mood is hugely amplified with freshly straightened locks (more so when I eventually get round to a trim!). At the end of 2014, I got my first acrylic nails and I couldn't believe how much of a difference they made to my confidence. Finally, a few weeks ago, I got my eyebrows waxed and I am obsessed with them!

Now I have a routine that includes weekly hair straightening and getting my brows and nail done once a month. Next I'm looking into teeth whitening, laser hair removal and keratin treatments. 
I feel like I'm finally, at the age 26, coming out of my chrysalis. I've realised that it's ok to have beauty treatments and promote body positivity. If you don't like something, you can change it. Body confidence doesn't have to mean living with something that makes you miserable.  

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101 in 1001 XXVI

There is just over a month until my 1001 days end and my new 101 goals start- 38 days exactly! I've already compiled my new list and it's really interesting to see how my goals have changed since I first wrote this list over 2.5 years ago. As an example, my new one will have a lot fewer shopping-based goals and much more travel ones. I'm growing up!

#1 Get an Ofsted outstanding grade

Do you know what's frustrating? Ofsted came to visit this month and I got really positive feedback with no downfalls at all. However, with the new rules, they're no longer allowed to grade us. So frustrating! Shall we just pretend it was outstanding? It was at least a good so we can tick this off, right? (Surprisingly enough, the photo above is not from my Ofsted lesson! I don't recommend trying anything with risk involved when the inspectors are in town!)

#29 Visit Bath for a day trip

Helen and I went to Bath for scones, shopping and Starbucks.

#31 Visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour

Yes, again. This goal is well and truly met!

#57 See the exhibitions on my list

After a long time between art exhibitions, I went to see Grayson Perry's Who Are You? at the National Portrait Gallery.

#96 Read 75 books (102/ 75)

I'll be upping my new goal to 125, I think. This month I've read another 8 books- eight!-, taking my 2015 total pages to 4533. Not too shabby!

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Sponsor Becky Bedbug in March

March already! Hooray! Spring is on its way with warm weather, sunny mornings and longer days within grasp. Oh, and chocolate. And the Easter holidays, which are early this year. I think March is going to be a pretty good month, so let's make it even better with an awesome sponsorship!

All my sponsors can expect three emails during the course of their sponsorship: One at the beginning, one halfway through and one at the end. These emails are an opportunity to check in with you, see how things are going and whether you want any advice. I really want my sponsorships to be based on mutual dialogue rather than just sticking your button in my sidebar.

Here's what you get:
- An advert in my sidebar for 30 daysA shoutout on Twitter- With some options, you'll also get a mention in a sponsor post.

Let's take a peek at the stats:
  • 1800+ on Bloglovin'
  • 1300+ on GFC
  • 5400+ on Twitter
  • 14000+ visitors a month
If advertising's not your thing, there are other ways you can get involved, such as sponsored posts and PR reviews. For all the information, take a look at my sponsorship page here or contact me.

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Therapy Diaries // CBT Session 8

Good news! It wasn't my last session! I still haven't asked when that will actually be but, since she hasn't mentioned it, I assume it's just until further notice. What a relief! 
The Forms
I'd had a really bad week, with a few days off work so, predictably, my scores were very high. My therapist then said something really interesting that had only occurred to her after I'd left last week: A perfectionist is likely to wait for a "perfect" day before giving it a low score which makes perfect sense. Instead, we've agreed to adapt the forms in terms of how extreme the feelings have been. 0 would be very slight worry whereas 3 would be very extreme. This way it's going to be a lot easier to see how I'm making progress week on week.

First of all, we looked at my homework from last week. I'd somehow managed to call Marie and it all went fine, of course. We drew a graph to show my anxiety levels before, during and after the call. Then my therapist explained that as I repeat the process, the habituation will bring my anxiety levels down as I get used to it.
We then looked at the problems I'd had during the week to write a thought record but this was harder than usual as I didn't have any active thoughts of worry. I was just aware of this sudden wave of anxiety that felt like it was punching me in the stomach. Looking at the model of perfection we'd created last week, we identified how my anxiety was causing avoidance since I was unable to work.

My homework is simple this week: Just carry on with what I'm doing! We're trying to get the habituation process in place so I'll be trying out another phone call. Oh, and I went to work yesterday and nothing bad happened, so there's that too!

CBT Session 3
CBT Session 4

CBT Session 5

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Kat's post on PRs' experiences of working with bloggers is such an informative read!

Carrie experienced a husky ride in Finland and I'm so jealous!

I adore Ellie's London Fashion Week street style shots!

Lily visited Arnos Vale Cemetery and it's beautiful!

Other Favourites
Fat Zoella and Fat Alfie are hilarious! It's a shame so many people don't seem to understand satire.
Megan is in the top 25 for Curvy Kate's Star in a Bra competition. Go vote for her! 

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