Thursday, 28 April 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: The Flower Queen's Daughter



Do you guys remember last year when I took part in the team princess M.E. awareness event organised by Queenie Sian? Well it's coming up to M.E. awareness month again & I'm taking part again.

The idea behind team princess is that we M.E. sufferers have a lot in common with the fairy tale princess, many of us are trapped in our castles, sleeping for a thousand years or 'just' cursed. There isn't a cure for M.E. or even a treatment but you can help with our isolation.

Like last year I'm not having a individual team princess fundraising page but the charity I am recommending is the Smile for M.E. charity who specialise in sending happy mail to M.E. sufferers, I can't even explain how much of a difference happy mail can make.
You could also donate to Gemma who is raising money for a wheelchair she desperately needs.


On to the look. So I had this crazy idea that it would be super cute to name all my Team Princess looks after fairy tale princesses & not just the Disney ones but cool, lesser known fairy tale princesses. After a lot more reading than I really had the energy for (fairy tales are really interesting, particularly the Eastern European & Scandinavian ones) I realised that fairy tale princesses are mostly pretty lame, they barely do anything in the stories! However I did find the story of the Flower Queen's Daughter which I thought totally fit with this look. There is a bit of a Persephone thing going on at the end of this story, like the Flower Queen's Daughter brings Summer with her or something & in this dress I literally feel like I am wearing Summer. If I looked behind me & there were flowers growing in my tire tracks I wouldn't even be surprised.



So the dress was my reward to myself for coping with some pretty shitty body & life stuff & I am so in love with it. I was kind of convinced that it would be something I wore maybe once (the pattern is kind of out there for me) but I have already worn it 3 times & I've only had it a few weeks! I've even worn it when I wasn't leaving the house & I usually just stay in pjs so I'm not wasting energy.

If you are wondering where to get it, this is the Bernie Dexter Paris Dress is Serenity Walk & you can get it from either the brand's website or Unique Vintage (where I got it). I got it in the largest size just so I was certain it would fit & I would actually say it was a tiny bit large on me (only just) despite having a waist of 41 inches & my waist being that & bigger depending on the day. It makes it super comfortable so I guess it depends on how you want it to fit.


The skirt is slightly shorter than my other vintage inspired pieces hence my petticoat showing at the bottom (& at the side apparently, I wish I'd noticed that when we were taking photos!). I actually love being able to show off the bottom of my petticoat, this malco modes petticoat has the most amazing detailed edge & I never thought I'd get to show it off ^^

The straps on this dress are wide enough to cover bra straps if you want to wear it without a cardigan. I choose not to because my I'm pretty sure my arms are pale enough to glitter in the sunlight...plus it is Yorkshire & it rarely gets warm enough to go without sleeves of some kind :)



I could write an essay about why I love this dress, seriously there are so many amazing things about it, there are pockets, the details are so pretty, it's is so comfortable & I feel like a ray of sunshine in it. The ONLY thing I don't like is the zip is in the back but you can't have everything lol. (Did I just spend a whole blog post talking about a dress? I'm super weird lol)

What is your favourite fairy tale, Disney or story book princess?
I'm not much of one for princess stories, my favourite fairy tale princes was the one in East of the Sun, West of the Moon, my favourite Disney princes is Princess Dot in A Bug's Life & my favourite story book princess is Princess Meryl in the Two Princesses of Barmarre by Gail Carson Levine.
(My taste in princesses may be a little unconventional).
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Friday, 22 April 2016

The Trouble with Words


One of the things with my M.E. that affects me the most emotionally is the way I struggle with language. It affects me every day, I struggle to comment on friends posts, or write posts of my own. I struggle to remember things I need to do that involve writing more than I struggle to remember anything else & I get tired fastest when reading, writing or thinking word/number based things through.

A long time ago, when I was still coming to terms with my M.E. & was trying to finish my A-Levels I remember having a moment when I could physically feel my thoughts taking longer. I can't explain it but it was like my thoughts were driving through my brain & the motorway was closed so they were having to take side roads. When I focused it was almost like I could feel the part of my brain that wasn't working.

As my M.E. has progressed I started to find creative things much easier than I found analytical things. I started to process things visually rather than analytically in a way that was totally foreign to how I was before. I had always dreamt in words (no pictures at all) & suddenly my dreams were totally immersive & in full colour. I used to think everything in words & make lightning fast connections from one concept to another in a way I can't even describe any more. I remember it, I know it is missing. It was the thing that made my brain my brain & no body else's & with out it my world feels really slow & dull & I feel really detached from it.

I used to love writing, it was my one creative talent, & I was pretty good at it. Now I put off writing tasks until the last minute because like a kid with a piece of maths homework. I know it will be hard, tiring & I know it won't be any good however long I work on it.

I have a pile of cards on my desk I want to send to friends & I've been putting it off since January because I'm so scared of sitting down to write them. I have so so SO many post I want to write, some that would really mean a lot to me, that I just can't seem to get done because I just can't find any words to say what I am trying to say. I am pushing myself away from the spoonie community partly because of my crippling shyness but also because talking to them would mean forming rational sentences regularly.

I know part of my problem at this point is that I know I can't write the posts or the cards or w/e & so I fail because I know I will but there is a real problem at the base of it & it's a problem that is getting harder all the time. I can't find anyway to fix it but I guess if you guys know about it I might not feel so embarrassed about the gibberish I write & say.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Mint Leaves


Hello everyone. I've had the worst cold for the past few weeks, if a hideous cough, tonsillitis, an ear infection, a fever & extra fatigue count as a cold. Worse still my Mum (who is my primary carer) also caught it so we've had an incredibly dull & tiring few weeks...

These pictures were taken probably two days before the cold started when we managed to have a day out at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate. It was seriously windy & generally not very nice weather but in the green house it was actually quite lovely, warm & full of spring flowers.


This outfit was almost an accident. I had planned the pinup girl clothing skirt & top combo but the best part of this outfit, the thing that makes the whole thing work as an outfit, is the mint cardigan & that was a last minute addition because the day was so miserable & cold. I swear all my best outfits are accidental.

As I said before the top & skirt are from pinup girl clothing - the Doris top in white & the Jenny skirt in Leaves Print.
The cardigan is an old one from Next, the belt is old from French Connection & the shoes are from B.A.I.T.


I'm not one to favour practically over fashion (pretty much ever) so I am ADORING retro/vintage/pin up fashion & the full skirts, petticoats & corsetting that comes along with the style. Well my corsets haven't arrived yet so I may hate them but I loved corsets when I was an emo/goth wannabe in my teenage years so I'm looking forward to getting back to wearing them for real this time (with tight laceing & waist training if my body is willing to cope).

Does your style lean more to the practical or the pretty? I'm seriously useless for practicality, I used to wear dresses & ballet pumps to powerchair football, I even once wore heels lol

Friday, 1 April 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Spring Tartan


Hi. If I'd realised this was going to end up being my April Fool's Day ootd post I'd have come up with something a little more interesting. I don't know though, April Fool's Day seems to be about right for the outfit photos I took whilst freezing, sinking into the mud & showing too much side boob.

Before I forget, I totally recommend  this amazing blog post (translated link) by Jacqueline on what style of dresses work best for her in her wheelchair. I would have loved to have found a post like this when I first started using a wheelchair, it seriously would have helped me avoid so many fashion mistakes :)


This outfit is another vintage inspired look (like all of mine at the moment) & I think the first time I've blogged an outfit wearing a full 50's style petticoat.

The top is a peasant blouse from Pinup Girl Clothing & it could not be more different from the peasant tops of my tween years! For a start this one is tailored to with in an inch of it's life, offering shape & structure. I think I got mine in a size too big as I have a tendency to...'spill out' of the looser, top part.....all in all though I love it. My only gripe is that the zip is in the back which can make it difficult to sort, I need help getting dressed so it wasn't any more awkward for me than anything else is (especially not more awkward than tights) but I know I would have struggled with it in years gone by.

The skirt is from Vivienne of Holloway & it's their standard circle skirt. I find it to be very comfortable despite (in theory) being about 2 sizes too small for my seated shape, although it is a little long for me in the wheelchair, hitting near my ankles without a petticoat. I think I'm going to end up getting it shortened by at least an inch, although stood up it is a much better length.


The petticoat is from Malco Modes (bought from Deadly is the Female) & insanely soft & really REALLY full although I understand that you can get fuller ones (!?!). I have the peggy? in white & it's weirdly not that impractical in an electric wheelchair (I would not recommend a petticoated skirt to a manual wheelchair user, I'm not sure it would be safe). I have to swing the skirt like a bell before I sit down so that the fluffiest part is not underneath or behind me when I sit down but it's not that much more difficult than sitting down in a large skirt without a petticoat & I really like the way it keeps the skirts looking the way they were supposed to look.

I really like this vintage-y style look & the way it helps me maintain the illusion of an hourglass silhouette so I am willing to put up with the compromises I have to make to get that (i.e. trying to transfer to the car in a petticoat, in the rain) but this would also have looked cute with no petticoat & a skirt 5 inches shorter...

The top really is awesome though, I totally recommend it.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Spring Breakthrough


A few things happened this week that made me think about who I am as a blogger. Firstly Rachel of Happy Little Syllables listed me as one of her 5 favourite spoonie bloggers, and honestly I think my heart sunk a little bit. That is utter craziness, it is amazing to be recognised for my blogging, I was totally honoured & I still am but it kind of made me feel the way you do when you get praised for a piece of work you don't feel happy with. There was an essay I did in high school when I was trying to get through my A-Levels after I had developed M.E. (which I swear to goodness I could have done if they had just given me text books, coursework & left me too it rather than insisting I went to class & did exams) which I was not happy with. I used to be really good at essays but I just couldn't get this history essay to flow the way I wanted it to & I HATED my teacher & wanted to show him that I was still just fierce as I had always been. Eventually I ran out of spoons & had to hand it in as it was. I got an A for that essay & to this day that makes me want to scream & being one of Rachel's top 5 bloggers felt like that.


The second thing that happened was Season 8 of Drag Race. Now I don't know how many of you have been able to watch it so I am not going to give any spoilers but WOW! Drag Race is kind of my therapy, I love the idea of "we are all born naked and the rest is drag" and I really try to live that but drag is more than clothes, it's a persona, it's an energy & an openness... Season 7 was full of queens who were serving the drag race visual (some of them better than pretty much any other queen ever has) but there has to be more than that to make someone a drag QUEEN you know? When I'm watching season 8 & I'm seeing queens like Kim Chi, who are just as visual, you start to realise that you have to have the whole package.... I'm rambling massively, I'm trying to take you through my thought process I guess.
There is this one queen, Kim Chi, who is struggling to own her body & that's impacting on her drag & that, whilst I've learnt to own my body, I'm struggling to own my brain & that's been impacting on my blog. I've been focusing so much on my photography & how my looks because I hate what the M.E. has done to my brain & I'm scared that I can't match up to who I once was.


Fashionable & confident in front of a camera is someone who I have become so I don't have anything pre-M.E. that that person has to live up to. Seriously the girl I was in high school would have killed to be so happy in her skin & so confident in her style, even if that meant she had to use a wheelchair.

The person I am now though remembers the brain I used to be & I mourn her. I feel incredibly vulnerable trying to do anything verbal, or academic because it is so difficult for me now & more than anything else that reminds me how much I've lost. When I first started having problems with thinking & logic I could honest to goodness feel the spaces in my brain I had to think around to do things. My brain must be like a gosh damn assault course for thoughts at this point because it gets harder & harder all the time.

But that's not a reason not to try. If Kim Chi could turn out a dance challenge I can turn this out. So from now on I will try harder to be more than just a blog full of pretty pictures, I will try to be more open & chatty & I hope you will cope with any incoherency my I end up typing.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Spring Colours


This is not going to be the most coherent post ever but honestly I needed something to distract myself with & I really wanted to share these photos.

Things are high drama at home atm & I'm not able to escape from the stress or get as much rest as I need so my energy levels are rock bottom low & my pain levels are sky high but I managed to get out to take outfit photos in one of my better moments earlier in the week.


I had this crazy idea of maybe entering Miss Pin Up UK & I was convinced I would need new outfit photos to do that....I'm pretty sure that's not something I'm not going to do (I'm not I've got the energy to do it) but these photos are still pretty cool.

The skirt is from Lindy Bop, the top is from Pin Up Girl Clothing (totally worth every penny), the shoes are from B.A.I.T. footwear and the belt is from Hell Bunny.

Anyway, I hope you like these pictures :)

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Wheelchair Fashion: Still Ballooning


After my last big flare this summer I ballooned, massively. I mean I went from a 33 inch waist to around a 38/39... I was okay with that you know; I didn't like it, it wasn't me any more but I could live with it. It was something I could learn to cope with.

Over Christmas I had another flare & I started to balloon again. Anyway so I started to track my calories, I decided to set myself a 1500 calorie goal since I don't move that much & it's unlikely that I'm burning many calories. Since then I have gone over that goal maybe 4 times & never to more than 2000 calories, I had a stomach bug where everything that went into my body (including water) was coming out again & I didn't eat for 3 days (and no more that 500 calories for 3 days after that).
I have also gained more than 8lbs & around 6 inches on my waist.


I am aware that for some people with M.E. weight gain that has nothing to do with what you are eating or drinking is a thing & that people gain weight faster when they are stressed or ill or not sleeping properly.... I also know that my body type hates loosing weight but loves gaining it...I could tell you the facts for days but the truth of the matter is that this is not my body, this is not the shape that I am & it is making me miserable.


It's not like I loved the body I was in before - I had a roll of flab under my boobs that has upset me for years & I have never liked my arms - but I felt in control of that body. If I had decided that enough was enough I could have done something about the tone of my arms or that roll of flab around my middle. Now I know that even if I starved myself nothing would change (seriously after my stomach bug I was the exact same size...). Even worse I know that no doctor or dietician in the world is going to believe that I am not getting bigger because of what I eat...


Honestly I'm not sure why I'm telling you guys all of this except that this is a good place to get all the self loathing & depression type feelings I've been getting off my chest.

The stupid thing is I look at these pictures & I'm thinking why am I stressing, I don't look my best (all I can see is the fat around my face and the fat that makes my boobs look weird) but I don't look as bad as I am seeing myself in the mirror but then I remember that these are pretty much the only clothes I have left that fit me & that I had to fight my way into that bra & that my shape wear doesn't fit anymore & that I'm now too big a waist size to buy clothes from any of my favourite shops & I stop feeling quite so confident....

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Wheelchair Fashion: Holiday Pastels


Wow, I seriously need a hair cut! And I totally need to get dressed up in my pretty clothes more often...I think this is probably the first time since I stopped doing outfit posts & it feels like it's been years.

My brain is seriously mush so I am struggling to come up with anything to say in this post so I'm going to focus on facts.


When I gained all my weight recently I had to get rid of my tulle skirts. More than any of the clothes I had to get rid of (some of which I'd had since I was still in high school) getting rid of my tulle skirts hurt the most. I'm not exactly sure why but my tulle skirts meant a lot to me & I hated the idea of getting rid of them.
Luckily Modcloth came out with nearly identical tulle skirts in my size only days later :) They are not the same as my old ones, obviously; the tulle is slightly less soft, the lining is slightly less stiff & the waist band doesn't sit quite right. All that aside, putting this on felt like greeting an old friend, it made me feel happy all day...even after I'd gotten back into my pjs :)


The top is another purchase from after I gained weight, it is the Lily top from Heart of Haute & I seriously can't recommend it enough! I have it in both the white & the blue & I love it so much :)

The shoes are from B.A.I.T. footwear & the bag & belt are both old.

A quick hint for non elastic belts like this one. I extend my belts with ribbon looping it through the buckle & the holes where the buckle is supposed to fasten...and then I get someone else to tie it so I don't have to see how much ribbon gets used lol :)

Happy Holidays everyone

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Being Realistic


I started blogging quite a while ago because I couldn't find any fashion resources for wheelchair users & so I did it.
I am however a bit of a perfectionist & once you are a part of the blogging community it is hard to avoid those posts that are titled things like '5 things every blogger should do' & 'How to become a better blogger' etc.
I'm not a perfect blogger but the one thing from those articles I always tried to stick to was consistency, apparently people should know when you are going to post...some people even recommend only posting at a certain time in the day!

Anyway, I didn't mind posting regularly to start with - it gave a structure to my weeks & it was kind of fun - but as my M.E. gets worse I'm finding that I either have energy to go out & take outfit photos or go out & do something fun. I love blogging, being a part of the blogging community & I love getting pretty in my nice clothes but if I'm honest, the schedule I have been imposing on myself has been making it hard for me to remember the good parts & that totally defeats the purpose for me.

So I'm going to be taking a bit of a step back. I'm going to stop going out just to take outfit photos & instead I'm going to go out to do something I enjoy. I'm going to stop forcing myself to go out once a week even when I really don't want to & I'm going to start allowing myself to buy clothes for me, not for outfit photos.

What this will mean for my blog is that I will be posting less often & less consistently. There maybe one post a month, there maybe three or there maybe none, I can't say. What I can say is that I'm hoping to rediscover my love for blogging & stop thinking of it as a chore because that way leads to madness :)

Friday, 30 October 2015

Wheelchair Fashion: Autumn Rose


This outfit of the day is another one where I'm making a dress into a skirt & still feeling incredibly clever about it. I mean how many times have you bought a dress & then realised that it only really works as well, a dress. When you decide not to wear the same outfit twice you realise that dresses are pretty limiting, unless you buy new regularly they're really a wear once kind of thing....hence my feeling of true smugness when I worked out how to turn my dresses into skirts :)

This dress is one of my favourites & by far the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe & was in this post from July. I usually wear it as what I call 'pretend clothes', clothes that aren't pjs (my normal uniform) but don't require me to wear underwireing, shapewear, tights &/or make up & that I can go to sleep in if I get too tired to change. Does that make me sound like a weirdo? Now you get why I go all out in my ootd post ^^


I don't wear a lot of black & this outfit totally reminded me why, I kept merging into the chair & looking like I had square boob lol  Does anyone know why wheelchairs are all black? I always assumed it was the same reason early fords came in 'any colour as long as it's black' but seriously the only advantage I can think of is that stains (in theory) don't show as easily but it's not worth it for all the disadvantages.

I always wonder if anyone reads all the text fashion bloggers write in this section, I know when I read fashion blogs I don't usually (I struggle to read that much text full stop so I focus on other blogs) although there are a few where I read everything they write.....not mine though, I write all kinds of gibberish lol. A store I really respect said they were going to read my blog post last week & I swear I nearly broke into a cold sweat, I almost wanted to tell them that my blog is really more of a picture book than something that is there to be read ^^


Anyway, the important bits, the necklace was a gift, the top is an ASOS basic, the belt is old from ASOS again, the skirt is actually a dress from Lindy Bop as I said, the tights are from M&S & the shoes are from B.A.I.T. footwear. These shoes though, I love them so much, they are so pretty & I am starting to get used to them but they are so uncomfortable to walk in & I have no idea why because the heel is really short but it's like I'm walking on a narrow shoe just in a line down the arch of my feet running toe to heel. I feel like you'd have to be some kind of acrobat to be used to this feeling, it's decidedly un-fun to start with! That being said I'm thinking of getting a grey pair next since I don't walk in them & they look so pretty ^^ My mum thinks I'm being silly but you only live once & I have great faith in the power of the right pair of shoes :)


I have to mention that it was actually my mum who came up with the idea for this outfit! She's usually really bad with that kind of stuff but I guess years of taking my outfit photos are teaching her to see clothes the way I do ^^
Thank you mum for putting up with my obsessive perfectionism, making me laugh when we are out taking photos, helping me feel good about myself when we've taken 30 photos in a row where I look bad & keeping me going when I can't find a single thing to wear.