Monday, 31 July 2017

5 Things I Learned In Bali This Summer

Plus Size Blogger wearing Yours Clothing at Askara Villa in Canggu Bali

Summer 2017 has taken me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and adventures.  I've enjoyed some fabulous highs along with some of the most challenging lows of my life to date.

It was Albert Einstein who said that 'the only source of knowledge is experience' and after reflecting on my trip to Bali last month, I can certainly say that I am wiser and more knowledgable thanks to the experiences that I had out there.

Continuous personal development is really important to me and I love to be inspired by the people that I meet across the world and draw on my experiences to improve my life.

In today's post, I wanted to share with you, five things that I learned while in Bali.

Plus Size Blogger wearing Yours Clothing at Askara Villa in Canggu Bali

Plus Size Blogger wearing Yours Clothing at Askara Villa in Canggu Bali


While in Bali, I had the pleasure of meeting some truly amazing people.  One in particular showed me that friendship really isn't about who you've known the longest.  She listened to me and provided some of the most significant and helpful advice and support I've received in life, drawing on her own experiences and wisdom.

I learned to not fear opening up to someone; if it feels right, go with your gut.  Sometimes the right people are there at exactly the right time you need them.


While in Bali, I had the chance to try out yoga for the first time.

I'd often thought that yoga was for those far slimmer, fitter and more flexible than myself but it really is for everyone.  Real yoga is about the mind, body and spirit being one, its not about what you look like, what you're wearing or about being perfect; its not a competition.  That in itself smashes the trendy, Sweaty Betty mould that many associate with the practice.  This stereotype was what always made me admire yoga from afar but never have the confidence to join in with.

While staying at Bliss Sanctuary for Women in Canggu, I was able to start my day with an early morning yoga class and the peaceful awakening was so beneficial to me.  Aside from discovering the benefits of the physical side, i.e. that I am stronger and able to move into more positions than I first thought, the relaxation, meditation and focus on the breath had a great impact on my mental wellbeing.

Now that I'm home, I'll definitely be practising yoga on a more regular basis, even if its just once a week or once every fortnight to get me started.  As someone who suffers with anxiety the calm that it brings to my day and how positively it directs my mindset is essential.

Its important to me to find an instructor who really knows their stuff, especially as I have injuries from an accident that happened several years ago.  Research is going to be key and I'll be using Bidvine to help me to find the perfect person.

If you're not familiar with Bidvine then get to know because their services could really benefit many aspects of your life.  Whether you're looking to find a painter and decorator, a photographer for your wedding, a personal trainer or  a music teacher, its the easiest way to find professionals in your area.

You can see exactly how it works here but you can take my word for it that its a really easy to use service that really narrows down to exactly what you're looking for.

Simply type the service you require in the search bar, add your postcode and begin your search.  Bidvine will then ask you some specific questions to pinpoint exactly what you're searching for.  After that, they do the hard work for you by taking the information you've given and finding local professionals who can provide exactly the service that you're looking for.  Your information isn't shared with them so its entirely up to you as to whether you get in contact and use their service.

If you're a busy bee like I am then you'll know that its not always easy to find the time to trawl the internet looking for the reliable people you need.  Bidvine takes the hassle and stress away which, in my case, will keep my mind free to focus on my breath in yoga!

Plus Size Blogger wearing Yours Clothing at Askara Villa in Canggu Bali

Plus Size Blogger wearing Yours Clothing at Askara Villa in Canggu Bali


Filling my life with experiences is more important to me than owning things.  Having stories to tell, memories to look back on and a life that's been lived is what enriches my own life and makes me more interesting than having things to show others ever would.  Admittedly, its taken me longer in life to realise that than it should have.


Scrambled egg was the baby sick breakfast lookalike that I've passed by for years until I stayed at the Alassari Plantation.

The Balinese chefs there instantly upgrade their scrambled eggs with the addition of sun-dried tomatoes.  A tiny food twist with a bold flavour that makes such a difference to this simple dish that I've been left wondering why I hadn't thought of enjoying them in this way sooner.

Breakfast game coming back strong!

Plus Size Blogger wearing Yours Clothing at Askara Villa in Canggu Bali

Plus Size Blogger wearing Yours Clothing at Askara Villa in Canggu Bali


I love having bronzed, tanned skin but for so long my suntan has definitely factored in whether I'd class a holiday as being a success or enjoyable.  I'll always love soaking up the sun, protected by my favourite Clarins SPF and while wearing gorgeous swimwear like this plus size bardot swimsuit from Yours Clothing (review here) but Bali definitely gave me a reminder that holidays and travelling are about relaxing, seeing the world and enjoying new experiences and you don't get that from chilling on a sun lounger alone!

What did you learn when you last travelled?  How did your experience benefit you?

Friday, 28 July 2017

Unique Date Ideas All Over The World

Plus size clothing uk blogger praslin monochrome floral dress

There's nothing quite like date night, where the two of you can get together and spend some well-needed time with one another.  Sometimes though, dates can get a bit samey and it can be hard to find something unique to do without breaking the bank, regardless of where you are in the world.

Whether you're living in Rome, London, Paris or New York, there's a perfect date out there for everyone and who knows, it could be the date that takes your relationship to the next level!  Together with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of bespoke seven stone rings, I'm sharing date ideas from around the world so that you can make the most of your time together, wherever you are!

Plus size clothing uk blogger praslin monochrome floral dress

Let's start with the UK.  London is a booming metropolis, full of great shops, bars and restaurants that'll keep you entertained for more than just one date... if you're lucky!  I love visiting London but I tend to be there for work, making my time limited.  I've experienced lots of things to do that would make great date ideas though such as the Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel which would set you back around £50 a head.

For a date thats even more purse friendly, the Natural History Museum, National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Modern are great options because they're all free to enter and will provide hours of entertainment, soaking up the culture.  Westminster Bridge with Big Ben nearby and the Houses of Parliament aren't too far away either and since they're close to the Southbank, you can grab some tasty street food while you're there too.

Plus size clothing uk blogger praslin monochrome floral dress

As the capital of Italy, Rome is brimming with 3000 years of art, architecture and culture; making any date in this beautiful city one of true romance and sophistication.

If you're sporty, an A.S. Roma football match at the grand Stadio Olimpico would be an exciting date.  A ticket will set you back €100 (roughly £88) but if that's out of your budget then there's still plenty to do in the capital that will be more memorable than going to the cinema!

The Trevi Fountain is so picturesque that it'll have you mesmerised and you can even through a spare penny in to wish you good luck on your date.  Once you're done, you can take a stroll to one of the many cafes for coffee and people watching!

Plus size clothing uk blogger praslin monochrome floral dress

Paris has to be the true city of romance.  Tourists come from far and wife to have a great time with their partner; I even have a friend whose boyfriend took her to Paris for the day on the Eurostar from London!

Since it is home to many of the world's greatest writers and artists, Paris oozes chic everywhere you walk through its many streets.

If you'd like to take your date to new heights then the Eiffel Tower is an impressive feat any day of the year.  Why not book in at 58 Tour Eiffel while you're there too?  This restaurant has a fantastic menu, including a cute picnic lunch and has amazing views over the incredible city.

There are plenty of affordable options in Paris too.  It is home to some of the most beautiful bridges in the world so my top pick for a unique yet affordable date would be to head to the Pont des Arts Bridge where many lovers write their names on padlocks and attach them to the bridge.

Plus size clothing uk blogger praslin monochrome floral dress

If you can make it on a date here, you can make it anywhere... The big apple offers something for everyone with the theatres of Broadway, the neon-lit Times Square and skyscrapers like the Empire State Building.

For the ultimate unique date, a private helicopter ride would be absolutely incredible.  You'll need to get saving though as a date seeing New York's famous landmarks in this way will set you back well over £1000 but with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, it'll be worth every penny.

However New York offers plenty of unique yet affordable date options too.  Take a twilight walk around Central Park like Audrey Hepburn did in Breakfast at Tiffany's before heading to one of Manhattans cool rooftop bars or head to the restaurant that was featured in When Harry Met Sally; if you're a movie buff I'm sure you'll be quoting lines from the film in no time!

If that's not enough, you could take your date on a walk through the financial district to feel part of the glamour and excitement of the Wolf of Wall Street.  Just be careful, its a jungle out there...!

Plus size clothing uk blogger praslin monochrome floral dress

Once you've chosen your date, you'll need an outfit.  Now I don't claim to be overly clued up on mens fashion but ladies, I've got you covered. Praslin have just launched their UK website and its packed full of gorgeous outfits that would be perfect to wear on a date day or night.

The monochrome floral dress that I'm wearing in these photographs at the Alassari Plantation in Bali is from their plus size line which will soon be added to their website.  For now, you can shop Praslin online at Yours Clothing and ASOS.  I'd definitely recommend checking them out if gorgeous evening dresses and floral prints are your thing.

Feminine, glam and cut to flatter, you'll be sure to find something to wear on your next date!

Plus size clothing uk blogger praslin monochrome floral dress

SHOP Praslin dresses

Where would your dream unique date be?  What do you think of this gorgeous dress?

Monday, 24 July 2017

How To Make Your Life More Ribenary with the Ribena Doodle Your World App!

How To Make Your Life More Ribenary with the Ribena Doodle Your World App!

Greetings from sunny Crete!

How has your Monday been?  I can certainly think of worse ways to spend the beginning of the week than relaxing around a pool in the sunshine but boy have I needed it!

Life has been pretty tough in recent months so I've taken a week out of my schedule to have some fun in the sun with my friend Sarah.  We've had some much needed chill out time, topping up our tans and plenty of laughs as we've got out and about exploring Crete.

How To Make Your Life More Ribenary with the Ribena Doodle Your World App!

I love making memories on my travels and being able to treasure them forever by capturing photographs makes me feel so happy.t

This summer, I've been making my life much more fun and Ribenary with the new Ribena Doodle Your World App which brings to life cute doodles in through augmented reality on my phone.

Since my trip was very much last minute, I've needed to have my phone and laptop with me to keep on top of my work while I'm away.  Between answering emails, posting on Instagram and replying to comments, I've been able to have some fun with the app.  Creating animated pictures and videos has certainly made my day much more Ribenary; life can't be all fun and no play can it?

Check out some of the fun I've been having around the pool today:

How To Make Your Life More Ribenary with the Ribena Doodle Your World App!

Bringing the Ribena doodles into my life has certainly put a smile on my face, almost as much as the drink itself does!

Ribena has been a family favourite in our house for as long as I can remember and now that I've moved out into my own apartment, it is an essential in my own kitchen too!  The light is my favourite because its delicious cold or hot, so I can enjoy it throughout the year... closely followed by the strawberry which I always buy in cartons when we go out on summer picnics.

How To Make Your Life More Ribenary with the Ribena Doodle Your World App!

Fancy joining in with the fun?

You can by downloading the app from your phone's app store for FREE.

Its really straightforward to use; simply select your doodle, position it on screen and take a snap or record a short video as the animation comes to life before saving your masterpiece.  You can even share it with your friends and family on social media.

I'd love to see how you Doodle Your World!

Over on my Instagram, I'm hosting a competition where you can win an EXCLUSIVE Ribena goody bag.

To enter:
Download the Doodle Your World app and take a photo with one of the doodles on.

Upload it to Instagram tagging me, @WhatLauraLoves and using the hashtag #Ribenary.

I'll be choosing a winner at random on Monday 31st July 2017 at 12 noon, announcing it on the image and DM-ing the lucky winner.

What do you think of the Ribena Doodle Your World App?  Where would you use the app?

Don't forget to enter my Instagram giveaway!

*This post has been supported by Ribena® but all thoughts and doodles are my own

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review

Elie Saab have released their new limited fragrance for summer 2017 and wow, it is beautiful!

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection is a fruity floral fragrance that is sweet and addictive yet still it retains that elegant femininity that I associate with the original Le Parfum fragrance.

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review

Inspired by the Cannes Film Festival, this glamorous perfume is perfect for everyday wear during the warming months because it is light and fruity but lasts for hours on the skin.

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review
This is the summer scent I have been waiting to find for years.  It is very much a grown up summer perfume which makes a pleasant change from the overly sickly sweet fragrances released for the warmer months from other houses.

With a top note of red mandarin, a heart of orange blossom, jasmine and pomegranate nectar and a base of patchouli, the effect is enchanting and seductive in equal parts and I cannot get enough of it.

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review

Aside from the beautiful jewel packaging that has been given a summery tint and the orange blossom note which is the olfactory signature of the first Le Parfum, the new resort fragrance is very different, at least to my nose.

It is similar enough that fans of the original will still love it but dissimilar enough that it will garner new fans that perhaps thought the signature Le Parfum wasn't for them.

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review

This is definitely a scent for all and as my signature daytime fragrance this summer, I'd urge you all to give it a try next time you're passing a fragrance counter.

I spotted it in duty free as I was passing through the airport so if you're travelling abroad, that's going to be the time to grab yourself a bargain.

Elie Saab Le Parfum Resort Collection 2017 Review

If you love the sound of this perfume then be quick as it is limited edition!

Available in a 50ml bottle from The Perfume Shop, Escentual, The Fragrance Shop and Fragrance Direct.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Top Tips For How To Get A Good Nights Sleep When Travelling with Tempur

Top Tips For How To Get A Good Nights Sleep When Travelling with Tempur

For far too many years, I've burned the candle at both ends.  My sleep has been sacrificed in favour of late nights and early mornings but eventually something has got to give.  This was the summer for me when I realised just how much of a positive impact a great nights sleep can have on my mind, body and spirit and I made some changes to get my sleeping pattern in check for the better.

The issue came when I was due to fly out to Bali for work; how would I achieve a good nights sleep when travelling on such a long flight and through several accommodation changes?  Well let me tell you, I had it down to a fine art by the time I landed back in the UK and I wanted to share my top tips with you ahead of my next trip to Crete which is coming up so soon!

Top Tips For How To Get A Good Nights Sleep When Travelling with Tempur

First things first, try to work out why you tend to not get as good a rest when you're travelling; is it because of the uncomfortable seats on the plane or is it too noisy?  What about the unfamiliar environment or the jet lag?

Once you've worked out what it is that keeps you from getting a good nights sleep when travelling, you can work to correct it.

For me, its feeling uncomfortable, the light and the noise.

Top Tips For How To Get A Good Nights Sleep When Travelling with Tempur

I damaged my neck in an accident several years ago and ever since I've slept with a Tempur® pillow at home.  It's been an absolute godsend to me as it moulds to support my shape and the way that I lie in bed and it has made such a big difference to the quality of my sleep at home.

Until recently, I had never had the same experience when travelling as the pillow was too big for me to take away with me.  I'd end up using a normal travel neck pillow for on the plane and whatever pillow was provided in the hotel but more often than not, sleeping like this would set my neck off and cause pain and discomfort at the worst and a poor nights sleep at best.

However, the genius team at Tempur® have since created two travel pillows, the Tempur Travel Pillow which is the transit style, perfect for when you're in the car or on a plane and the Tempur® Comfort Travel Pillow which is the one that I have.

The fantastic thing about this travel pillow is that it is very much like the pillow that I already use at home, just in a smaller, more travel friendly size.  I can take it away with me for use on the plane, when I'm sleeping in a hotel room and for when I'm lounging around the pool and I can rest assured that whether I'm enjoying a deep sleep or an afternoon nap, its going to be a comfortable, good sleep.

If you find that you're uncomfortable when travelling or sleeping at your destination then I'd highly recommend picking up one of these pillows.  Its an essential for me to protect my neck and ensure I get a good nights sleep!

Top Tips For How To Get A Good Nights Sleep When Travelling with Tempur

If noise is an issue for you when travelling, then might I suggest picking up a set of ear plugs to block out the noise.  You could even use headphones like I do and head off to sleep listening to your favourite relaxing music.  I'm really into audiobooks at the moment so I tend to set the timer on mine and zoning into it really helps to chill me out and send me to sleep.

If you're someone who tends to become cold mid flight, then I'd recommend taking a big hoodie with you, a blanket or a scarf thats big enough to serve as a blanket.  Wrap it around you to keep warm and snuggle up.  It can serve as such a comfort when you're away from home.

Lastly, if light is an issue for you, be it on the plane or from street lights or daylight at your destination, then I'd suggest investing in an eye mask such as the Tempur® Sleep Mask.  I've been using mine for a couple of years now and have just got a second to keep by my bedside because even at home, I get a much better sleep when I wear it.

The Tempur® material moulds to fit the shape of my face and its adjustable at the back too for total comfort and darkness.  Using an eye mask really helps me to adjust to the time zone that I'm in much more quickly and to get a far better nights sleep overall than if I'm battling with shining light in an unfamiliar environment!

I'd love to find out what your tips for getting a good nights sleep when travelling are.  Do let me know know in the comments and if you want to get a good nights sleep when travelling too, then take up the Tempur® Challenge by heading into participating stores from 10th July to 7th August and test out the Tempur® mattresses for your chance to WIN a Tempur® travel pillow for yourself!

*This post is in conjunction with Tempur® but all thoughts are my own.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

Girls, if you're looking for a gorgeous dress to wear to parties and events this summer then check out the AX Paris Curve Floral Bardot Skater Dress from Yours Clothing.

The off the shoulder style is fun and flirty and the cut and fabric of the dress is not only mega flattering but it really keeps its shape too.  Better yet, its in the summer sale with up to 30% off.

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

I've been wearing AX Paris Curve dresses for years but since they took the curve range off their website, I've struggled to find enough of their range online.

That was until I found them on Yours Clothing; they definitely have the best and most varied selection from the more casual, daytime pieces to the party dresses and occasion wear.

Plus, they're stocked in many of the stores too which is great if I'm heading to the Metrocentre for an outfit to wear that evening!

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

That's exactly what happened when I spotted this dress; it was perfect for my night out and I knew that I had to have it!

The fit is fantastic; very true to size which is something I don't often find from concessions as I usually have to size up 1 or 2 sizes.  With this dress, I just bought my regular size and danced about in it like it was made for me.

The top part is elasticated across the shoulders; its tight enough that it stays in place but has enough movement in it that it doesn't leave you feeling restricted.  Often bardot tops don't tend to move with the body very well but this one does which is great because I hate having to constantly pull my tops down off my shoulders!

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

The skirt of the dress is made from a scuba like fabric which really holds its own.  The pleated shape flatters my figure and skims over my lumps and bumps which I certainly appreciate and I love that the material is heavy enough that it doesn't blow up at the slightest gust of wind.  Tomorrows laundry is always strictly undercover when I wear this dress thats for sure!

Paired with some chunky heels, a clutch and some simple jewellery, the gorgeous rose print is really able to make a statement.  It is bold and beautiful without being too OTT.  The fabric of the skirt has a slight sheen to it which seems to bring the florals to life even more.

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

AX Paris Curve Rose Print Bardot Dress at Yours Clothing in the Poison Garden at The Alnwick Garden

You may notice that I shot these photographs in the Alnwick Garden, a charitable formal garden up in Northumberland.  I'm sure many of you will know by now that this is one of my favourite places to visit in the North East because theres so much to see and do there no matter what time of the year you visit.

Inside the Poison Garden, there's a huge, carefully curated selection of killer plants and I can't wait to revisit it this summer to see it at its best, fully grown in the light of the sun.

Who knows what I'll wear on my next visit... I best head to Yours Clothing to pick out another beautiful dress!


What items from Yours Clothing have caught your eye recently?  What do you think of the floral pattern on this dress?

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Seven Summer Treats Just For You

Flamingo Pool Float Yours Clothing Tankini
Float from Primark, Tankini from Yours Clothing
Why wait until your birthday or Christmas for presents? I'm a firm believer in treating yourself throughout the year whether its for doing well at work, a non-scale victory or simple to say, I love you, love me!

Summertime is the perfect excuse for treating yourself as these so many lush pieces in the shops; some serious, some fun but they'll all make your smile and wont break the bank.

Surrounding yourself with things that you love and that bring you happiness is really important.

Here's my run down of the things I'm treating myself to this summer to pop a smile on my face.

Flamingo Pool Float


Last summer, was the year of the funky pool floats. I bought a pricey 7 foot pegasus to take with me to the Maldives in January but this summer, so many of the high street stores have caught on, so now you can up your poolside game without spending a small fortune. The best place for inflatables this year has to be Primark with their watermelon ring, donut, unicorn and the flamingo, like I have above. New Look have a great collection too; they even have inflatable drinks floats so that your cocktail can float alongside you!

Summer lets you embrace your most glamorous self by popping on a massive sun hat. I bought mine in Ralph Lauren a few years ago and it always makes me feel so fabulous when I wear it!

From understated trilby hats, floppy hats and cowboy hats, they are an essential treat for those looking to add a little something extra to their outfit as well as to protect them from the sun.  The ones at Accessorize are a great high street option.

For lazy, hazy nights in the garden with your friends, you can create a magical atmosphere with beaut solar lights around your garden. Solar fairy lights are the prettiest – and come in all sorts of guises – from pretty shapes and colours, to more traditional lanterns. I've just bought some of these diamond shaped solar lights from Wilko for my balcony.

Yours Clothing Plus Size Swimwear
Wearing the Yours Clothing Blue and Pink Smudge Kimono and Pineapple Beach Bag

You’re not likely to go to the beach at any other time, right? Then why not make your beach bag ultra summery to maximise on the sunny vibes.

Yours Clothing have a great selection – there’s everything from stars to stripes and pom poms and of course the two pineapple covered woven bags that I have. They hold everything that I need for the pool or beach from my Kindle and suncream to my water and towel. Time to hit the beach!

Yours Clothing Plus Size Swimwear
Wearing the Yours Clothing Black and Electric Blue Swimsuit and Pineapple Beach Bag
Treating yourself to a new nail polish will help you embrace summer at the lowest of costs. Choose from juicy oranges and lemons, or go full ice cream colours with pale mints, blues and pinks and have a constant reminder of summer fun times. Barry M nail paint is a classic.

Whats the one thing that can make refreshing coolers and cocktails even more delicious? Ice cubes that don’t melt and dilute the drink that's what! I love that now you can buy freezable cubes that chill drinks without making them water down eventually. These are my fave fruit ice cubes from Lakeland; they're perfect for cocktails and look so cute even in a jug of juice too!

Lastly, a paddling pool is the perfect summer treat. Don't be confined to thinking that they need to be held in your memory from childhood. In the UK when its hot, we're not equipped with the air-con and swimming pools like we have when we're on holiday so do yourself a favour and bag a bargain paddling pool from Tesco Direct.

They're great for popping your feet in to cool off on a hot summers day and you can even pop a load of ice cubes in to keep your beers cold, so fill ‘em up, kick back and relax in your garden.

Summer is here and its time to treat yo'self ladies!


I'd love to know what you're treating yourself to this summer, let me know in the comments!

*Research provided by name badges retailer Badgemaster.
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