Sugar Free February ( Cancer Research)

Its funny how things change I’m so grateful for Christmas 2016 as it meant hubby was home recovering from his operation for bowel cancer and I really didnt think he’d be home in time.

I do remember one Christmas years and years ago we where going to a friends for Christmas dinner which was lovely as we where super skint and it was lovely to be invited as we didnt get many invites out. About an hour before we where due to go, we got a phone call it was all off due to illness.

So we where in a bit of a pickle because we hadnt bought a turkey because we’d been invited out and mostly because we where totally skint. We also hadnt been able to buy pressies because again we where skint and actually made by hand pressies which we still have. On Christmas day even though we started the day feeling rather down we actually had a great day in that we ended up going walking around Lytham St Annes in the rain and ate crisp butties for tea in the rain.

Its funny how things change but I treasure that Christmas as well as Christmas 2016 because hubby and I where together , we are happy, contented with our lot and relieved that things are now starting to improve a little. Be thankful for what you have everybody and if you feel like it pop a little donation over to this link to help motivate us in our Sugar free February in aide of research towards the early discovery of Cancer. If hubby ( Pauls) cancer hadnt been found early I’d be on my own just a sad little person with lots of doggie pics on my walls.


Also take a listen to my music here xx

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House of Fraser – Label Lab – Curvy collection

I’ve never really looked at House of Fraser before as having clothing to fit my curvy demure body. To be honest I probably wouldnt have looked if it hadn’t have been for a fellow blogger posting.   So trumpet sounds der der der der introducing Label Lab at House of Fraser.

Its a pretty trendy range of Gents/Womens clothing with the womens range including a capsule collection of plus sized clothing .

As you all know I’m a size 20 mostly although in some brands I now fit an 18 and I’m 5:8 and 48 years old  ( blimey I’m old my birthday was Christmas Eve :0) .  I do find it hard to find items of clothing that totally fit my style and its really hard to  find items that I could wear on stage singing with my band Skyeladder.

However I’ve just put an order in for these items so will do another blog when they arrive showing the fit and how I pair them with items in my wardrobe.

Enjoy xxxxxxxxxxx

Label Lab


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The girl with the gold in her hair

So I was recently introduced to hair color, at 47 and rather afraid of changing anything re my hair  ( I’ve not even had my ears pieced)  I was slightly skeptical to say the least. Ive always been very dark haired, dark hazel eyes and fairly palish skin.

I also have a skin condition which means I have to take tablets, at any time I can have an allergy to food I didnt have a reaction to before. I;m also very sensitive to day to day products and pet hair/dust.  So I’ve always had to be very very careful.

So anyway I was talking on facebook as you do to my most favorite of all hair designers Matt from award winning Freddies Hair in Rawtenstall Lancashire, hes been cutting my hair for years and is the only person I trust hair wise.  I’m terribly vain hairs important to this girl :0) .

Anyway he invited me to attend a consultation and managed to convince me I would look great with a softer color to enhance my features and complexion.  He even brought a wig out to demonstrate the color he was thinking of which made me giggle as I looked like barbi but with brown hair.    Being 47 I recognize that as you tread on through life that your complexion tone changes and you need to compensate accordingly.

Matt recommended using #‎schwarzkopf‬ rich chocolate base with accents of gold and caramel. The intention being that this would introduce a golden color that would naturally enhance my complexion/skin tones. He asked me to add a tester to my arm to ensure that I didn’t develop any allergies/redness at least 48 hours before my appointment.

So the day of reckoning came, I was silly nervous and came close to cancelling several times.   Matt checked my arm to ensure I was allergy free which I was phew.  I’m do glad I didn’t cancel as Matt and his team where superb with me. I love the environment in Freddies its not only lovely to look at but , its so relaxed and friendly. Everybody has a smile on their face and they are really good at the hair chat thing (  no mention of “Where are you off on your hols” lol ) .

Several treatments/highlights later and we’re done.  The whole transformation thing took around four hours which is a long time yes I know, but you know what it was worth it.  I totally love it and no itching or burning scalp yipee :0)  ( and bonus my hubbie said I look sexy as hell ha ha)

Note: The above pictures are courtesy of Freddies.


12109262_696799657086337_6200137413861071880_n Janie New Hair

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Fashion Event – The Curve Fashion Festival

Hey all , I’ve had news of a great event called “The Curve Fashion Festival” on the 26tth of September at Manchester Central convention centre.  No need to tell you how very excited I am to say its being held in Manchester ( only an hour from me yipee) .  This is what is says on the website just cant wait – see you all there xxxxx


The biggest brands in plus size retail from over the world will gather under one roof for the ultimate shopping experience.   Confirmed brands include ASOS, Boohoo, Evans and New Look amongst others! Head to the catwalk shows to watch international top models strut their stuff in the latest high street trends. If that’s not enough, why not join our celebrity panelists as they take to the stage to talk all things fashion, media and the future of plus size! Meet with your idols, inspirations and blogger gurus throughout the day with their pop up meet and greet sessions in the Fashion Hall.Tess Holliday, Hayley Hasselhoff, Style Me Curvy Blogger Louise O’Reilly and Nicolette Mason are just a few of the people you can meet at the Curve Fashion Festival! On site spa, champagne bar and afternoon tea restaurant are just some of the ways you can relax during the fun packed day of this ticket only event​​”

The Curve Fashion Festival



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Cuteness from Live Unlimited

Get a load of these beauties from Live Unlimited London​

Three cute outfits that would suit me down to the ground and look shamazing on stage when I’m gigging with my band Skyeladder :0)

Wide leg 70s trousers, Kaftans and edgy tops in Paisley prints, gorgeous turquoise and monochrome are super popular this summer.  When I see clothes like this my heart just leaps and I sign because I know my bank balance is going to die a death.  I just cant resist a big of gorgeousness.  I could so see myself in all of these three outfits.

I have some exciting gig news re my band Skyeladder that I’ll be able to talk about soonish and one of these outfits would be totally perfect for a future event :0)

I’ll certainly be adding these to my want a lot list – pretty please who wants to buy me an early birthday pressie :0)

Live Unlimited SS15

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M&S #LFWxMCR SS15 Fashion Show

On Thursday I was lucky enough to go along to the M&S    fashion show. I IMG_20150226_182929169was one of the facebook winners for the 18:30 show.  It was a good drive into Manchester no traffic thank god and we managed to get there in record time parking in the M&S underground carpark which is very convenient for the city centre and Deans-gate restaurants. We where greeted by the lovely lady below with the camera who sorted a glass of fizz for us and escorted us to our seats.  Hubby walks with a stick these days and the lady seating us was super considerate ensuring we where comfortable. We even received a gift voucher to spend in store :0)





M&S 1






The event started off with a film all about this years #LFW and it covered M&S favorite designer collections and also what was likely to trend for SS15 and how it would in turn transform into what we saw on the high street.

Then it was onto the show see some of my favorite looks below.


Our lovely Hosts.

M&S 2 M&S 3










Stripes are back

M&S 3.5

M&S 4





M&S 15 Stripes





Stylish & chic oriental floral top paired with neutrals.

  M&S 6M&S 5

Sharp tailored suits, loving the cream suit.

M&S 8M&S 19








Gorgeous florals in citrus brights
M&S 24 M&S 23 M&S 21 M&S 20
















Pretty pastal Florals
M&S 11 M&S 10 M&S 9 M&S 18



Country club meets city chic….

M&S 16 M&S 25











Jumpsuit love..

M&S 13 M&S 12










and finally the Finale……………………………..

The Finale 2  The finaleThe Finale 3

Overall a really impressive collection from M&S, I think theres lots of items to suit everybody.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and get yourself down to an M&S near you to check the collection for yourself.


Ta ta for now , I’d love to get your comments on the collection xxxx Janie B  ( Copyright Janie B 2015)

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Burning the Midnight oil – with Gifi Fields – Coppernob

Remember the Ra-Ra skirt ?,  I remember being a bridesmaid at my sisters wedding back in the 80s. I wore a turquoise Ra Ra skirt outfit  from M&S and felt amazing.

Well I was lucky enough and oh so privileged recently to interview the joint creator of the Ra-Ra  and Midi skirt, and of course the person responsible for many other amazing pieces of fashion history.Gifi Fields

The “Gifi Fields”…………….

Real clothing is genuine – designed with emotion, sincerity and love – is true, brings joy, is a pleasure,” 

Gifi owns Coppernob, a fashion house located in London that sells their collections to Retailers such as Miss Selfridges where they had a very popular collection called “Ginger nut” . He has also been very successful in Topshop , Harrods and of course with the new fuller figure range “Scarlet & Jo” at Evans.

Coppernob’s  current brand range includes “Scarlet & Jo” at Evans, “KT Maternity” at ASOS,  and “Julia” at Tescos.

Gifi Says “The Ra-Ra skirt was created with Angela Stone who is a designer I worked with from about 1979. She had an obsession with tu-tus. We simply made one first in a single jersey and then made one in a printed soft fabric, a lot of time was spent on the dimensions. Sold out in Top Shop in 3 hours in February 1981. It was crazy.”

So onto the questions ……………….

Qu1  – Janie B – How old were you when you came up with your first business idea, what was it and was it successful?

Gifi “I was very young, do we count lemonade stands, if so  California as an 8 year old. Yes it was successful. Seriously though, I had a lot of success with the Ragfreak and Gingernut labels I started more than 40 years plus years ago when I was 19. I worked very, very hard and sold a majority shareholding when I got into trouble to a business partner, I was 23.  I learned a lot more about business administration which is all important. Fail out left and started Coppernob just before my 25th birthday, ”

Qu2  – Janie B  -  Do you find fashion to be a closed shop or do you think its easier than it was to break into the industry.

Gifi ” I think the mass market is virtually a closed shop and it’s very unhealthy. However, it is opening through the Internet and producers with nous and hard work  there are opportunities but not as great as mine in the late 60’s early 70’s.”

Qu3 – Janie B - You seem to be a bit of a romanticist at heart and are well know in the fashion industry for innovative designs. Where do you think your inspiration comes from?

Gifi - “My childhood really. Women have always inspired me. I am more than a bit of a romanticist. I am unashamedly so, my job is to create and deliver fantasy and to some extent illusion that enhances female form and femininity. I try to create an easy to carry/wear image that a woman can project. A lot of the stuff we do is simple. It’s all in the cut. ”

Qu4 – Janie B –  Why did you decide to invest and go into the fuller figure market with the collection “Scarlet & Jo”?Scarlet and Jo Flower Power

Gifi – “Yeah, that is interesting in that I got involved through luck in timing when Evans launched their shape initiative. Strictly speaking I am not a designer, I am more of a tailoring engineer. I had done some things for Evans back in the 80’s basically we were very big, in fact enormous with Top Shop at the time, and one of their directors goaded me to do it, and I have always been a bit of show off. So I had a bit of insight. The business imperative was the close shop. The way the high street is set up is preventative from a lot of great product ever seeing the light of day because it doesn’t fit in with the stories or themes set by retail design departments. It is not about the product, it’s about whether the product fits cohesively into the product range story. I can have great product but no retailers who want to buy, distribute and sell it.

With the Evans thing, I had been a very big player at DP for many years, I felt about the time that they were going down the wrong product route, said so, and they gave me the opportunity to develop a brand for them called Billie & Blossom which became a hugely successful in over 400 stores and online and it became political and I was subject to a lot of interference with the product ranges, back at square one. I approached Evans, I needed a challenge, there was a deal to be done that would suit both of us. There is no greater pleasure for a designer than to have collections well received. The whole Internet thing has been very important as it’s pretty instant the blogging community are customers, critical reviewers, model it gringo it to life.

We launched with the powerfit illusion dresses and they were an overnight sensation. Scarlet and Jo Power FitThink I got sucked into it, carried away a bit. You know Evans have been very supportive. Our mandate is broadly speaking 20 -35 year olds attitudinally.

To my delight I discovered that there was a like for vVintage Fabricsintage and retro. I am walking retro in the sense that I was an original supplier to Top Shop and Miss S in 1970. The late 60’s and 70’s looks were really retro with exponents like Barbara H at Biba; Ozzie Clark and the other designers at Radley, where the background was more hippy and hand painting; tie and dyeing. Alot of my girlfriends were designers and the other were into clothes and that was a big influence on me.”


Qu5 – Janie B –  How do you build a cult brand ?

“Gifi” – “I wish i knew, never thought of it like that, niche sometimes  works re a destination brand exclusive At Evans.”

Scarlet and Jo Fit and Flair

Qu6 – Janie B – Out of all the pieces that you have created which one has given you the most satisfaction?

“Gifi” – “The first velvet maxi , but really there has been so many. The 2 in 1prom series. The current Oriental print prom in midnight. The entire 40’s dress series. The fit & flare series. The hanky hem fit and flare.



Qu7 – Janie B –  Is it harder to stay on top, once you get there than it is to rise to the top?

“Gifi” – ” Yep, the reason that it is, is because you always have to meet customer expectations as a minimum and they grow. You have to hit the mark consistently every time.”

Gifi Fields and Team Coppernob


Qu8 – Janie B – Are you still up for the challenge Gifi :0)?

“Gifi” – “Gosh yes and more than ever. Its fantastic but we have so many hurdles to get over. It takes a lot of years work and all my guys sharing the vision and being exact in execution.”




So thank-you to Gifi Fields for his honesty and humor , such an interesting chappie and hopefully we will cross paths soon.  Enjoy all xx

Janie Bs favorite Scarlet & Jo creations:

Fav Scarlet and Jo

Coppernob Fashions –
Scarlet & Jo -


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Get Fit in 2015 – The Food

If you’ve read my earlier posts this blog is all about getting healthier in 2015.  I’m not only taking on more exercise but I’m also looking at what I eat and of equal importance when I eat. In order for me personally to get healthier and deal with my medical conditions I not only need to exercise in order to shape up but I also need to reduce my calorie, sugar and fat content.

I’ve read so many articles recently that say that in order to loose body fat you need to ensure you not only eat breakfast, but apparently there are also optimum times that you should be eating your meals. ie Breakfast by 7:17 lunch by 12: and Dinner by 6:6pm and definitely before 7pm.  I’m not sure I buy into eating at these exact times but I do think its pretty important to watch that you are not eating late into the night as this is when we usually get more Sedentary and  those naughty calories stick to our bodies like a sticking plaster.

The NHS site says for women to maintain a healthy weight women should take around (2,000Kcal) a day however if you want to loose weight and that BTW is every-bodies choice then you should exercise and reduce your calorie intake.

So I’ve started a food diary and I will be checking approximate calories/fat and sugar levels to ensure that I am having the correct level of vitamins and calories for my size and condition.

I have several medical issues, high blood pressure, Diabetes type 2 and also a skin condition called Telangiectasia Macularis Eruptiva Pigmenposa all of which flairs up if I eat the wrong foods. Hence my personal reason for getting fit in 2015.

Theres lots of information on the NHS website so take a look.

Anyway as well as keeping my food diary , I’m also going to post some recipes that I’ve tried that you will all hopefully like, so keep a look out for some separate posts.

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Feeling like a Queen in Evans ,Wallis and Live Unlimited

So for my New Years outfit 2014 I choose to wear myIMG_20141231_215656343 newly purchased  Live Unlimited Dress from the plus sized range at Wallis and  paired it with my Beth Ditto Evans Leggings, cowboy boots and my New Black Faux Fur and Boucle Coat all from Evans.

I’d had my hair cut prior to Christmas  at Freddies Hair in Rawtenstall , loving the cut, Matt the senior stylist there is amazing bells.  ( BTW the King of the jungle gets his hair cut here as well oooh how posh am I lol)

Makeup  – Eyeshadow is a combination of  Clinique and Chanel Smokey Eyes. Lipstick is Chanel Allure Passion 13. The  Perfume is Chanel Allure my total favorite and thanks to my hubby for buying it for my birthday on Christmas Eve :0) .

I felt just amazing, the cut of the Live Unlimited dress is really good in that it enhances rather than detracts from your curves.  Its cut so there’s more room in the hip/bum area which is great for apple and pear shapes. The dress itself is brightly colored in orange, beige, black and purple, which is just perfect for me as I love to wear brighter colors.  I wore the dress all night  ,it never creased and I felt really cool considering I was doing a lot of dancing oh and eating.

New Years Eve 2014 dress 1

On the eating note, we had a Thai meal at The Three Monkeys in Todmorden and oh my goodness it was rather rather lush, a starter and then for the main green thai chicken curry yum and very healthy. Such a great night , amazing food , fantastic service and great music really enjoyed it.

Anyway back to the Live Unlimited dress, I particularly loved the sleeves on this dress , they are extended in length and reminded me re the style of kimono sleeves without the bagginess, very flattering indeed.

I’m 5:8 and the length of the dress ( size 20)  for me was spot on landing above the knee.  I know some ladies out there are not keen on showing their legs but for me I don’t mind as I think my legs are one of my best features lol, plus it gets the hubbies blood racing ha ha.


As mentioned earlier I paired the dress with my Beth Ditto leggings from Evans  a few seasons ago, cowboy boots and the totally lovely Coat from Evans the Black Faux Fur and Boucle Coat. So more on the coat.

The coat as you can see is collarless, the main body of the coat is faux fur with the sleeves consisting of boucle fabric which is very on trend.  The coat is again really flattering and has hidden pockets, fastens via hooks and sits at thigh length.  Last night it was particularly cold and windy and this coat really kept me lovely and warm all night long.  The coat feels really luxurious and I felt very smart.  This style takes me back to the Seven days when we saw tremendous designer type pieces.  Evans do seem to be  getting back on track and certainly with this coat I think they are getting there.


So let me know what you thought of my New Year outfit, I loved it and I hope you all do too.

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New in – Sophistication from Anna Scholz

New in from Anna Scholz a rather sophisticated range of dress’s and tops.  Heres a few I’ve picked out as my favorites. I particularly like the sleekness of the blue crepe jersey cutout top and dress with the very chic and not overally sexy cut outs around the neck area.  The crepe jersey fabric certainly looks to be a good quality, so the fabric should just  slip over and enhance your curves rather than highlight every bulge which personally I hate and that’s when I personally loose my confidence. I believe strongly in good fabrics and so far from what I can see Anna has delivered.

The blue crepe jersey slit dress in particular has a very interesting front slit allowing you to show a hint of leg but not so much that it looks improper in a social occasion. I’m also in love with the Digital Jersey Roll Neck Gather Dress,  with its rainbow drop print and beautifully feminine cowl neck top. Cowl necks are so attractive with the style suiting most people. As with all of Anna’s items she really does think about shape and fit, if you look at the dresses they have gathering around the tummy area which helps to enhance our shape.

These items could quite easily be worn in the office, at a social occasion or if like me, you like to dress up just because you want to well these items are perfect.

Take a look at Annas site and see some of the other fabulous items there and let me know what you think.

Anna Sczholz New in December 204

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